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Pests > Pest Management > Cultural control > Mynas, trapping, Australia
In any urban area around Australia you’re likely to see a brown bird with yellow feet and beak resting on your car, nesting in your gutter and stealing titbits from the pet bowl.
The Common Indian Myna bird was introduced into Australia in 1862 to control insect pests in Victoria and later brought to north Queensland where it was hoped they would control insects on sugar cane.
The bird is now common from Hobart to Darwin especially along the eastern coast of Australia and is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species.
The species competes with native birds for breeding space and will evict much larger birds and even possums and gliders from their homes.
Despite the prevalence of the creature, the Myna has not been declared a pest species by the Australian Government as the declaration would impose certain responsibilities upon landowners and is unlikely to result in the control of the population.
So it is left to locals to take action in their community.
The Cairns Remove Indian Mynas group has reported success with their trapping program which they have been conducting in conjunction with the Cairns Mens’ Shed which makes the traps.
The group’s Peter Goulding estimates they have trapped and killed 10,000 birds since November 2011 and says they have 700 cages out in the community already with about another 200 people on the waiting list to buy cages.
“Native birds here in Cairns are our one of our great tourist attractions… but their habitat is being encroached on at an incredible rate and people start to notice it, they have got no more native birds in their gardens, all they have got is Mynas.”
Townsville Deputy Mayor Vern Veitch has personally been involved in trapping nearly 100 birds in his neighbourhood and says even localised trapping can impact on populations.
“They really are a significant pest, every bit as bad as cane toads or the pest fish tilapia.”
Councillor Veitch says the cost of controlling the birds is currently preventing council from taking action against the species but he would like to see community groups take up trapping programs.
Townsville’s Upper Ross Mens’ Shed spokesman Peter Gibbs says they are currently working on a design for Myna bird traps and will start production soon.