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Email Link   Indian Myna Control

Indian MynaThe Indian Myna, Tweed's new (and very unwelcome) resident

The Indian Myna (also known as the Common Myna or House Myna) were first recorded in Tweed Shire in 2002. Since that time, local populations of this feral bird have grown at an increasingly rapid rate.

Throughout its native and introduced range, the distribution of Indian Mynas is closely linked to that of human distribution. They thrive in habitat that has been created by humans, such as urban, industrial and agricultural areas and areas of open woodland.

Indian Mynas are a serious threat to the survival of our native wildlife as they are a hollow-nesting species. During the nesting season, they become very aggressive and take over hollows that would have been used by our hollow-dependant species, such as lorikeets and rosellas, kookaburras and sugar gliders. If a hollow is already occupied, they will evict whoever is in there, even animals as big as possums.

Tweed Shire Council is working to implement an Indian Myna control program. The program is jointly funded by Tweed Shire Council and the NSW State Government's Environmental Trust, and has four main components:

  1. raising public awareness that Indian Mynas are a serious environmental and health threat, and that we all need to be involved in controlling this species;
  2. supporting the community to undertake a humane reduction program;
  3. networking with other councils to increase the level of Indian Myna control that is happening in other areas; and
  4. monitoring the success of the program.

For the Indian Myna control program to be successful we need a high level of community involvement. The problem is too big for any one person, or group of people, to tackle. With a concerted, coordinated and sustained effort, the control program aims to have a significant impact on reducing the Indian Myna population in the region, and therefore give our native birds and small mammals a fighting chance of survival into the future.

If you are interested in becoming involved in controlling Indian Mynas contact Tweed Shire Council on 02 6670 2400.

Indian Mynas, Introduced Pests vs. Noisy Miners, Local Native Honeyeaters

The Indian Myna

The Indian Myna is a very distinctive bird. There are a number of features that will help you to recognise it:

  • It is a medium sized chocolate-brown bird with a black head and neck;
  • It is about 25 cm tall;
  • It has a yellow beak, eye patch, feet and legs;
  • It has white wing patches that are obvious when the birds are flying; and
  • It walks (some say struts) rather than hops.
Indian MynaIndian Myna Indian MynaIndian Myna Indian MynaIndian Myna

The Native Noisy Minor

Noisy Minor The Noisy Miner is native to Australia. The native Noisy Minor (Manorina melanocephala) is a honeyeater that is sometimes confused with the Indian Myna.
Although the Noisy Miner and the Indian Myna both have yellow skin behind the eye and a yellow beak and legs, you can distinguish the native Noisy Miner by its predominantly grey body. Whilst this bird may be noisy around the garden and can be territorial, it does not pose the same threat to other birds as the Indian Myna, and is a protected species.


Other Indian Myna Control Programs

Please visit the following web sites for information regarding other Indian Myna control programs:

Canberra Indian Myna Action Group (external link)

NSW Department of Primary Industries - Pest Animal Management (external link)

Clarence Valley Conservation in Action (external link)

Problems

A Local and Global Problem

Globally, Indian Mynas are a widely recognised as a serious threat to biodiversity. In 2000, the species was listed among 100 of the Worlds Most Alien Invasive Species by the World Conservation Union, alongside species such as the Fox, the Cane Toad and the Feral Pig.

The awareness of the Australian community is also rising about the impacts that the Indian Myna is having on our native fauna. During 2004, the Indian Myna was voted the Pest of Australia in the ABC WildWatch Australia survey.

Impacts on Biodiversity

The Indian Myna is a highly intelligent and aggressive bird that successfully competes with our native species for food and nesting sites. As Indian Mynas nest in hollows, the negative impacts from this species are particularly high on hollow-dependant mammals and birds.

Other Impacts

  • Major damage to soft fruit crops such as Bananas and Papaya
  • Accumulated droppings, particularly under communal roost sites. These droppings are problematic for a number of reasons, not least because they pose a threat to human health and they are a source of nutrient enrichment to waterways
  • Building large untidy nests, using sticks, straw, feathers and rubbish, like scraps of paper and plastic, in roof spaces and cavities, which are a fire risk and an entry point for bird mites into houses. Bird mites bite, and they can cause asthma and hay fever if inhaled
  • Noise at night from communal roosts near residential areas
  • The potential to spread weed species. As Indian Mynas consume the fruits of exotic plant species they can assist in the spread of exotic weed species, such as Lantana
  • Consuming feed intended for domestic pets and livestock

What can you do?

  • Tweed Shire Council is coordinating a program to support the community with Indian Myna control. Through this program, community members can borrow an Indian Myna trap free of charge. Contact the Tweed Shire Council Invasive Species Control Officer on (02) 6670 2778 or at indianmyna@tweed.nsw.gov.au
  • Feed pets indoors, or clear away when they’ve finished. Don’t leave compost or rubbish bins uncovered as Mynas like to scavenge
  • Make sure that Indian Mynas do not have access to feed intended for your livestock. Where possible, feed livestock only as much as they need at the time, cover the feed bins and clean up any spills
  • Block holes in roofs or eaves to prevent Mynas from roosting or nesting – make sure you don’t accidentally trap a possum, bat or other native species
  • Restore disturbed sites with native vegetation that is local to your area will assist in providing habitat more suited to native bird species than Indian Mynas
  • If you use nesting boxes to encourage wildlife, try to use a nest box with a baffle or a backwards facing entry. This will allow access to small possums, gliders, small bats and some native birds while excluding common Myna birds

Report an Indian Myna sighting

The MynaScan (external link) Community Website allows you to map sightings of introduced myna birds and the problems they are causing in your local area.
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