1,100 and Counting: Battling the Invasive Myna Menace 

Since B4C’s Common Myna Trapping Program began in 2016 more than 1,100 of the invasive species have been trapped by concerned Brisbane residents. This includes over 120 birds caught in the last 12 months. 

The common myna, a bird species originally brought over from Asia in 1862, has had a profound and far-reaching impact on the ecosystems of eastern Australia and they are now spreading to other parts of Australia. Once limited to market gardens around Melbourne, these birds have now spread throughout the region, from western Victoria to Cairns in the north. Initially introduced to control caterpillars and other insects, mynas were later transported to combat locusts and cane beetles in sugarcane-growing areas of north Queensland. 

Unfortunately, the common myna has become one of the world’s most destructive invasive species, as recognised by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in 2000. Its impact on the environment is significant, as it disrupts the breeding success of native bird species. With its aggressive nature, the myna competes fiercely for nesting hollows, resulting in broken eggs, dead chicks, and the eviction of native birds from their nests. It also competes with other native wildlife, such as possums and gliders, for tree hollows, and can even harm small mammals and displace sugar gliders from their homes.

Beyond its environmental consequences, the common myna poses economic challenges as well. It causes damage to fruit, vegetables, and cereal crops, leading to financial losses for farmers. It also spreads troublesome weeds like lantana and fireweed, which negatively impact agricultural productivity and biodiversity. 

“While it may feel like the program is only a drop in a bucket when we look at the overall impact of this invasive species, we can see the difference trapping these birds is having on a local level. Local residents are already reporting that they are seeing more small birds come back to their yards after the common mynas have been removed”, explains B4C’s Secretary and founding member, Heather Barns. 

As part of B4C’s trapping program, concerned residents can pick-up a trap and bring trapped common mynas to B4C for humane disposal. Before receiving the trap interested residents must complete a short training and quiz to ensure that they can correctly identify birds and they understand their responsibility to treat birds humanely and do not cause unintended harm to any other species. Hiring the trap is free, however B4C requires a $50 fully refundable deposit, which is returned to you when the trap is returned.

If you would like to learn more or you are interested in being part of the Myna Trapping Program, contact B4C by emailing b4c@bulimbacreek.org.au

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