The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is seeking information in relation to two separate incidents involving Hooded Plover nests at KiIlarney Beach, near Warrnambool, over the past week.
On Friday (23 September), DELWP wildlife officers received a report of the theft of eggs from a nest site at Killarney Beach. In a separate incident, officers were notified on Saturday that ropes marking a nest area had been interfered with.
DELWP wildlife officer Nathan MacDonald said: "Hooded Plovers are currently nesting on Killarney Beach. These small birds, which are listed as threatened in Victoria, lay eggs on the sand where they typically lay two to three eggs.
"All nest sites are roped off and signs are in place to warn the public to keep their distance from the area. These fenced areas are designated as wildlife habitat under the Wildlife Act 1975.
"We encourage anyone who may have seen any activity within these protected areas over the past week to contact DELWP. Details such as time, date, location and any information that can help identify an alleged offender are critical to helping us pursue any offences in relation to these incidents.
"It is an offence to take the eggs or interfere with the nests of native birds. Taking the eggs of Hooded Plovers can carry a fine of up to $37,370 and two years' jail. The penalty for the interference or destruction of nest sites is a fine of up to $7780," Mr MacDonald said.
Anyone with information about wildlife offences should call the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
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