A colourful mural with a message has brightened up the Ocean Grove shopping centre car park this week.
Painted by local Bellarine artist Alex Kineen, the hooded plover mural covers one wall of the toilet facilities located near the pedestrian crossing over The Parade.
As the Hooded Plover season comes to a close, conservationists are acknowledging a relatively successful year for this threatened native species.
A total of six chicks survived from 15 adult pairs across Breamlea and Bellarine beaches.
The Hooded Plover
is a small black, white and red bird that lives and breeds on the beach from August to March.
An adult pair of Hooded Plovers will lay up to three eggs in the sand, and incubate them for four weeks until the eggs hatch. The hatched chicks forage for their own food along the water’s edge.
Dogs and cats are seen as predators of the species, just as foxes, ravens and other birds of prey are, and for this reason the City along with Birdlife Australia have put measures in place to protect the birds.
The Bellarine Peninsula is the last major population of the Hooded Plovers until Warrnambool, making it a high priority at a National scale.
The newly-painted mural at Ocean Grove aims to increase awareness of Hooded Plovers and remind the community to help protect this rare species of bird.
Councillor Sarah Mansfield - Chair Environment and Sustainability portfolio:
Thank you to all of the beach users who have kept their dogs on a leash and followed the regulations, your actions have made all the difference.
This new mural is a fantastic addition to the space, portraying the key message “All we need is a little space!”
Hoodies needs space from beach users and dogs to incubate their eggs, and once hatched the chicks need to get down to the water’s edge to feed immediately.
We ask that the community continue to be mindful of these birds during breeding season, and with your help we can achieve some positive long term outcomes.