Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 1 October 2021.
Title of research: Hooded plover nest protection on Tasmania’s east coast
Applicant: Northern Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Association Inc.
|Jeanneret Beach ||PWS reserve ||Bay of Fires Conservation Area ||7098119|
|Binalong Bay (beach) ||PWS reserve ||Bay of Fires Conservation Area ||7098119|
|Blanche Point ||PWS reserve ||St Helens Conservation Area ||7440607|
|Wrinklers Beach (Scamander River Mouth) ||PWS reserve ||Scamander Conservation Area ||7097837|
|Beaumaris Beach ||PWS reserve ||Scamander Conservation Area ||7097837|
|Four Mile Creek Beach ||PWS reserve ||Four Mile Creek Conservation Area ||No PID|
(Tenure ID 37419)
|Four Mile Creek Conservation Area ||No PID|
(Tenure ID 37419)
Aim of project
The aim of the project is to improve nesting success (number of chicks fledged) at up to six sites on Tasmania’s east coast which are identified as being at risk of failure due to human impacts such as crushing of eggs or chicks, excessive disturbance of adult birds resulting in nest failure, and predation by uncontrolled dogs.
- The involvement of animals is inherent in the project because the activity consists of a management intervention to improve nesting success for a threatened species (hooded plover (eastern)).
- The target geography on the east coast of Tasmania has been selected based on the concentration of towns and beach access points, the existing population of hooded plover (eastern), and levels of recreational beach usage during the hooded plover breeding season (September to March). The work is undertaken on reserved land because the species’ nesting habitat is predominantly on beaches, and the project areas are subject to public recreational access which can have an adverse impact on breeding success.
- The project is anticipated to have conservation and community awareness-raising outcomes which far outweigh the minor and controlled risk to individual animals.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved
12 adults birds (six pairs) per season for two seasons, and associated chicks. The same pairs may be protected and observed over both seasons.
Activities undertaken and methods
Hooded plover nests in priority locations where there is a high likelihood of impact from human activities will be demarcated with temporary fencing consisting of wooden stakes and rope, erected at a designated distance around each nest site. Signage will be placed at nearby beach access points, and on the beach at least ten metres from the temporary fence, explaining the purpose of the fencing and requesting beach users not to approach the fence.
Hooded plover pairs, nests and chicks will be monitored by observation through binoculars one to two times per week for the duration of the breeding season, initially to identify breeding behaviour and the likely location of a nest, and subsequently to monitor the fate of eggs and chicks at the site.
Fate of animals
The activity does not involve capture of animals. Hooded plover adults and chicks will be observed for the duration of the breeding season (approximately September to March inclusive). At the conclusion of the breeding season, when a clutch is confirmed as either fledged or failed, temporary fencing materials will be removed from the vicinity of nesting sites. Adult hooded plovers and chicks will continue their normal non-breeding season behaviours without further intervention or observation.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch)
The only likely impact is short-term disturbance while temporary fencing and signage is erected. The methodology has had a documented positive effect on nesting success for hooded plover in other jurisdictions over a period of more than ten years.
There is a low risk of impact to any non-target species. Any impact would be limited to minor and temporary disturbance of other shorebirds present when monitoring and the erection of fencing is carried out.