"Rats of the Sky" - Indian Mynas - not just anUrban problem
A recent roadshow of Myna Bird Control workshops highlighted the growing concern in both urban and rural areas of our region about the increasing numbers of Indian Myna birds in our region and their impact.
Following several reports from members of the large numbers of Indian Myna birds starting to congregate in parts of the Gwydir Shire, Northern Slopes Landcare Association began looking for an opportunity to take action. There were some trees along the Gwydir River where upwards of 200 birds had been reported living in a colony, having a massive impact on the local native bird population. What was somewhat unexpected was the response we also got from outlying, rural areas - some workshop participants travelling up to 80 kilometres to attend. Participants were keen to learn best practice methods of Myna bird control, and how to humanely dispose of them.
Thanks to Managing Established Pest Animals and Weeds (MEPAAW) funding, we were able to run a series of Control workshops across North West NSW. Workshops were held in Bingara, Moree and Tamworth. The workshop facilitators - Laura and Kevin Noble from Clarence Valley Conservation in Action, are extremely experienced and knowledgeable Myna bird trappers. Laura and Kevin shared tips such as not approaching the trap in daylight, the most successful bait to use, and placing the trap in the open where the birds feed rather than near their roosting tree.
More than half of workshop attendees across the region were rural landholders, who had observed first hand the effects of the Indian Myna birds on their native bird populations. The ongoing drought in the area has also had the effect of increasing numbers due to the availability of grain due to drought feeding stock. Many landholders also reported the birds oosting in large numbers in sheds and garages. Workshop attendees welcomed the opportunity to learn the most effective methods of trapping these pests, using the PeeGee Myna Bird Traps.
Northern Slopes Landcare subsidised the supply of Myna bird traps to workshop attendees. The traps sold out immediately and we have a waiting list for more. Additionally, we have been approached by residents in areas including Coonabarrabran, Quirindi and Gunnedah to run additional workshops and/or to secure further Indian Myna Traps.
All attendees have been encouraged to let us know of their trapping results. We hope to build on the success of these workshops by running additional workshops, as well as providing ongoing support to those trapping to try and achieve maximum success rates.