Spotlight on Eyre Peninsula's hooded plovers

September 16 is International Plover Appreciation Day and there will be increased efforts to monitor the population of hooded plovers on the Eyre Peninsula.

Eggs have been observed in shallow sand-scrapped nests at one West Coast site while other hooded plovers across the region have been recorded pairing up and returning to their coastal territories in readiness for nesting.

Natural Resources officer Rachael Kannussaar said this year with the help of trained BirdLife volunteers monitoring would take place at 14 new nesting sites thanks to funding form the federal government's National Landcare Program.

"This will bring our total number of hooded plover territory monitoring sites to 42 and is the sixth consecutive year we've been involved in the national monitoring program," she said.

"It's important we continue to deepen our understanding of hoodies' territories and threats to their survival."

International Plover Appreciation Day is a day aimed at raising awareness of ground nesting plovers face and the risks they faced, in Australia it includes hooded and red-capped plovers.

On the Eyre Peninsula a spotlight is being shone on ground-nesting plover populations across Eyre Peninsula, from Port Gibbon (south of Cowell), down to Port Lincoln and up to Yalata.

Ms Kannussaar said Plover Appreciation Day helped at a global level to raise awareness of ground-nesting plovers and also highlighted at a local level how fortunate we were to have threatened species like the hooded plover on our local beaches.

BirdLife Australian beach-nesting expert Grainne Maguire said hooded plovers were one of Australia's priority threatened species and lay their eggs directly on beaches during spring each year, with both mum and dad plovers working together to raise chicks.

She said there were also migratory plover species were due to return from their marathon flight from breeding grounds in Siberia and needed to spend long periods of undisturbed feeding to replenish their energy.

"We can help these birds raise their families or get ready for their return migrations by taking care when we are sharing space with them," she said.

"That includes keeping dogs on leads and keeping out of areas when the birds are nesting."

BirdLife Australia is hoping more people can get to know more about plovers by coming to its Hooded Plover Volunteer training workshop at Redcliffe Campsite at 789 Trinity Haven Road on Sunday from 11am to 4pm.

The workshop will include Kasun Ekanayaka from BirdLife Australia and people will be able to learn information such as hooded plover identification, behavious and understanding threats.

Ms Kannussaar said training sessions such as this were important in increasing knowledge on beach-nesting birds and hoped people could sign up as BirdLife volunteers to help with monitoring.

"I find that education is essential, once you understand why and how a species has come to be on the brink of extinction it's easier to take the first steps in appreciating what each of us can do to help threatened species survive and thrive," she said.

For more information on the training session and to register contact Ms Kannussaar on 0427 975 903 or visit www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/eyrepeninsula/get-involved/events

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