The Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis) listed as Vulnerable under Commonwealth legislation (and Critically Endangered in NSW) can be seen in parts of Tasmania, although not in high abundance anymore.
Me and @armchairbirders got lucky with the lighting for a few minutes on a drive through Adventure Bay a few weeks back (while a ‘local’ was walking her dog right past them AND collecting masses of seaweed/kelp 🙄) This species is less abundant than people think and recent research has highlighted a decrease in their distribution and abundance.
Like other shorebirds, Hoodies are vulnerable to human disturbance in their coastal environment. They are at their most vulnerable during the breeding season between 1 September and 30 April - which also coincides with the highest period of beach usage by people. Four wheel driving, horse-riding and tramping above the high-tide mark are just two of the many threats the species faces.
Other threats include:
- Predation of eggs, chicks and adults by domestic and feral cats, dogs and introduced animals such as foxes and rats.
- Nest failure from disturbance to brooding parents by beach activities.
- Invasive weeds – sea spurge, marram grass, reclaiming shorebird habitat.
- Removal of seaweed and beach debris, a source of food and protection for shorebirds.
- Ingestion or entanglement in litter or fishing line.
- Rises in sea level due to global climate alteration.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: - Walk your dog away from known shorebird nesting areas and keep them on a lead.
- Walk and ride below the high-tide mark.
- Don’t drive vehicles on nesting beaches.
- Be aware of nesting birds.
- Don’t collect seaweed, or other beach materials.
- De-sex cats and keep them in at night.
- Pick up any litter and fishing line (and #takethreeforthesea)