At this webinar Bill Handke from the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group Inc. discussed why a feral bird, the Indian Myna, is a problem and what actions you can take at home to manage them.
The webinar was recorded on the 17 March 2021 and you can view the recording here.
A copy of Bill’s PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded here.
This is a summary of the five key points from the webinar:
1. Indian Mynas are native to the Indian subcontinent and are highly invasive, adaptive and intelligent. The birds were introduced into Melbourne in 1862 to control pests in market gardens and have subsequently spread along the eastern Australian seaboard. They are classed as one of the top 100 invasive species worldwide and are implicated in species decline and extinction because they prey on native animals and birds and compete with them for food and nesting sites. In Canberra, the impact of Indian Mynas on native birds has been studied by ANU researchers who identified they have a severe impact on birds such as rosellas, wrens, Willy Wagtails, Silvereyes and Whistlers.
2. Indian Mynas were introduced into Canberra in 1968 and have been recorded in densities of up to 250 birds/km2. Indian Mynas are a major threat to native wildlife because they:
- outcompete native birds for nesting hollows.
- feed on eggs, chicks, skinks and insects.
- drive small birds out of gardens.
- are vectors for bird diseases (such as Avian Influneza).
- degrade woodlands by reducing ecosystem services by other birds.
3. Indian Mynas pose a human health risk because they carry bird mites and blood-borne parasites that can be transmitted to humans. They can increase the fire risk in rooves by creating nests in roof cavities. They are also a pest for agricultural, viticultural and horticultural industries. A major concern to the public is the loss of social amenity because of Mynas fouling backyards and BBQ areas, their raucous calls and their displacement of native birds.
4. The experience in Canberra indicates that trapping is highly successful and is the best method for controlling and removing the birds. Indian Myna bird trap designs can be found below. The disposal of animals once they have been trapped has been approved by the RSPCA. Training and support from the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group is provided for people interested in trapping Mynas in their backyards.
5. You can also help at home by reducing feeding opportunities, eliminating nesting sites in roofs and reducing roosting sites. Avoid planting trees with dense foliage, such as pencil pines, in which Mynas will roost at night.
Useful links and information:
Canberra Indian Myna Action Group
A website dedicated to help people manage and control Indian Mynas.
Indian Myna Information Sheet
Indian Myna Trap Plan
Indian Myna - the flying cane toad
Trapping Help Sheet and Protocol on Animal Welfare
MynaScan is a resource developed to help community members, pest controllers and biosecurity groups to map sightings and the damage that Myna birds cause, and coordinate control efforts with local community groups. MynaScan is free, easy to use, and can help you develop a detailed map of Myna bird activity in your local area. You can also upload images for accurate record keeping.
This webinar was made possible with funding from the NSW Environmental Trust through Every Bit Counts Project. Thank you to Bill Handke and the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group for their support of this webinar.