The collage clearly depicts how vulnerable these critically endangered birds are on the beach. They build their shallow sand nest just above the high-tide mark, and premium real estate for plovers of any beach are estuary type landscapes where a river, stream, or creek discharges into the ocean. Eggs and chicks are highly vulnerable to be trodden on (and killed as a result, of course) since they are not readily seen on the sand because of their camouflage egg pattern and chick plumage.
On our beach, Long Spit, Marion Bay, Tasmania - the prime plover real estate is also the prized human recreation spot - where the stream called 'Bream Creek' discharges into the Southern Ocean. Dogs off leash are the worst single threat to plovers. Eggs and chicks can not only be killed directly by being trodden on, or eaten by a roaming dog, but also by exposure to heat and cold when the parents are frightened off nest duty by continuous threats.
Upon any disturbance, the parents will stop incubating eggs or brooding young chicks and run within view of the threat, to lure the preditor away; then, they will return to the nest or their chicks. But too many such disturbances, causing the parent to leave the nest for too many times, will kill eggs or chicks indirectly. Eggs are then exposed to the elements, and will perish by overheating or cooling beyond recovery, and chicks, although huddling motionless against any kind of beach litter (dead seaweed, pile of shell fragments, etc), will succumb to the baking sun, or driving cold rain and wind in inclement weather.
There are 'dogs prohibited on spit' signs in clear view of any visitor, but ...
The Tasmanian Hooded Plover population conservation status is 'Secure'; does this mean no measures have to be taken to ensure that the status of 'secure' remains? We regularly walk on Long Spit, only to find dog tracks - every time: on the outer and inner beach, not to mention the land between the beaches - why? Signage clearly informs any visitors: DOGS PROHIBITED ON SPIT. Sadly, extinction is silent, and one morning, there will be no more Hooded Plovers on a beach.