Hooded Plover Protection - Thinornis rubricollis
Hooded Plover Watch is a community-based initiative aimed at monitoring and improving hooded plover breeding success on Phillip Island. Hooded plovers typically nest on surf beaches in the busy summer months. They are prone to disturbance and thus low breeding success.
Volunteers help monitor nest sites and educate the public about the importance of keeping themselves and dogs away from nesting areas. The Hooded Plover Watch program is conducted from late spring to early autumn. Counts of all birds on beaches are held quarterly to monitor the species in the long term.
Hooded plover information
Short-tailed Shearwater Rescue - Ardenna tenuirostris
Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Short-tailed Shearwater Rescue program rescues hundreds of birds each year as they begin their migration from Phillip Island to the northern hemisphere.
Short-tailed shearwaters arrive on Phillip Island around 24 September after an 8,000km migration from the waters off the Aleutian Islands near Alaska.
Shearwaters, or ‘muttonbirds’, lay one egg in the last week of November in a sand dune burrow. The egg hatches in mid-January and the parents feed the chick before beginning their migration back to the northern hemisphere in mid-April. The fat, fluffy chick is left behind until it grows its ‘adult’ feathers and begins the migration weeks after the adults leave.
While the chicks learn how to fly they often end up on roads around Phillip Island, attracted to street lights and the flat road surface. During this time, late April to mid-May, Phillip Island Nature Parks’ rangers and volunteers patrol roads and rescue wayward birds in danger of being hit by motorists.
Koalas - Phascolarctos cinereus
Koalas were introduced to Phillip Island in the 1890s as a protective measure against their dramatic population decline on the mainland. Koala viewing became extremely popular and, to protect Phillip Island's natural vegetation from human trampling, the Koala Conservation Centre was opened in 1992.
The Koala Conservation Centre provides close viewing of koalas from elevated boardwalks in a natural setting. The Koala Conservation Centre also provides valuable habitat for other species such as birds, possums, bats, wallabies and other woodland wildlife.
Volunteer opportunities exist at the Centre in association with general operation programs and on an as-need basis. The Friends of the Koalas volunteers regularly assist in monitoring the koalas and care for their habitat.