A possible party at Cape Bridgewater is being investigated after a hooded plover habitat was destroyed and a chick killed by a vehicle at the weekend.
Birdlife Australia volunteers alerted the state's conservation regulator of the incident on January 22 and an investigation is now underway into a possible party or celebration on the beach where the incident took place.
On Saturday night or early Sunday morning, a vehicle was driven along the beach, through the nesting area and over the chick.
Portland police said it was illegal to drive on the beach at Cape Bridgewater unless launching a boat.
The conservation regulator is urging anyone with information about this incident to report it confidentially to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au
Hooded Plovers are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is illegal to hunt, take, destroy, injure or interfere with them, their habitat, or the signage protecting them.
Severe penalties apply.
The maximum penalty for hunting, taking or destroying wildlife ranges from $8261 to $41,305 and/or six to 24 months' imprisonment.
The maximum penalty for an act of aggravated cruelty on any animal is $92,460 and/or 24 months' imprisonment.
It is also illegal to damage, disturb or destroy any wildlife habitat or interfere with signs erected to protect them.
Both offences carry a maximum penalty of $9246.
IN OTHER NEWS
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.