Community knowledge is key for Red-capped Plovers
A NEW community education program will see Bellarine Bayside and Birdlife Australia continue their efforts to protect Red-capped Plovers on the northern Bellarine Peninsula.
Red-capped Plovers are coming under pressure as they try to raise their families on increasingly busy beaches over the summer period.
Standing only 12 centimetres tall and weighing just 35-40 grams, these tiny beach-nesting shorebirds breed during summer and their nest scrapes are typically located above the high-tide line on a bayside beach.
Their speckled eggs are well camouflaged and easily crushed by unsuspecting beach visitors.
The ‘Northern Bellarine Red-Capped Plover Community Education’ program will host beach walks and workshops for community members to learn about these unique birds.
Volunteers will be trained to monitor local colonies to gather invaluable data about numbers, behaviours and threats, providing a better understanding of how to protect this species.
Bellarine Bayside will also carry out habitat improvement works and protection of nesting sites through temporary fencing and interpretive signage.
Coastal Projects Officer at Bellarine Bayside Jane Shearer said she really worried about Red-caps trying to raise young on a narrow beach in a busy summer season.
Bellarine Bayside are inviting all interested community members to come along to the events or register to be a volunteer.
“The more people who care for and know what to do when they spot Red-capped Plovers at the beach means these little families have the best chance to survive,” Ms Shearer said.
The program has been funded by the Victorian Government through a $14,200 Coastcare Community Grant.
Coastcare Coordinator Bec Cross said the organisation was proud to support this project through its community grants program, as it engaged the community in protecting the Red-capped Plover and contributed to science and research.
The first event will be an information session held on Saturday October 12.
If you would like to find out more about the events or register to be a volunteer, contact Bellarine Bayside on [email protected]