Penguin deaths gives hope for Hooded Plovers

Written by Malcolm Brown

A recent report of penguin deaths at Phillip Island gives hope for action to save Hooded Plovers

It has been reported recently that 27 penguins have killed by dogs at the Phillip Island Nature Park. This is a sad event and displays the need to keep dogs away from the native wildlife. Fortunately it’s estimated the Penguin population at Phillip Island is in the order of 25,000 individuals and whilst the death of 27 birds is sad, it is only 0.1=% of the Phillip Island population.

photo_0-jpeg-scaled1000

Adult Hooded Plover Australia’s prominent shorebird. © David Bakewell

However, jump in your car and drive around to the Mornington Peninsula National Park during any summer and you will observe similar deaths to another protected shorebird. In the last 6 years, 198 Hooded Plover chicks have died in the Mornington Peninsula National Park and that’s from a population of less than 600 birds. Not 600 in the national park but 600 in the entire state of Victoria. That is 33% of the states population of Hooded Plovers have died in one national park over the last six years. And the reason is once again dogs. Parks Victoria allow dogs on beaches in a national park where a threatened shorebird nests.

The attached table (Table 1) clearly identifies a failure rate for Hooded Plover breeding attempts in the Mornington Peninsula National Park. Of the estimated fifty nests made by Hooded Plovers and a total of more than 100 eggs laid on the national park beaches last summer, only three chicks have lived longer than 20 days. That’s an egg to fledgling failure of 97%.

The CEO of Parks Victoria is Bill Jackson and he can be contacted on 8627 4878 or 13 1963.

The Shorebird Shepherd is a not profit organisation committed to increasing the general publics awareness and understanding of Australian shorebirds.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule and interview, contact Malcolm on 0403 997 831 or email seawish@aapt.net.au.

Years

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

Eggs laid

111

114

105

112

153

116(est)

Eggs hatched

43

45

26

33

54

20(est)

Chicks survived

10

6

6

7

9

3

Fledgling vs eggs fail rate

91%

95%

94%

95%

94%

97%


Table 1. Fauilure rate of Hooded Plovers to raise young (eggs to fledling) from 2006/07-2001/12* at Morning Peninsula National Park. (*2001/12 estimates).

Advertisements

One response to “Penguin deaths gives hope for Hooded Plovers

  1. Nice summary! Thanks for sharing it. Is it completely impossible to guard all the important beaches? What is the explanation from the national park authority to allow dogs on beaches? They should be aware of having endangered shorebird species breeding within the park boundary, I guess…Best, Szimi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s