In 2000, the common myna (Acridotheres tristis), was declared amongst the top 100 of the world's most invasive species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Common mynas are native to India and have the potential to cause significant negative impacts on our local biodiversity.
Mynas compete aggressively for nesting hollows, displacing, outcompeting and excluding many native wildlife species, especially hollow-dependant animals such as parrots and gliders. They may even throw the chicks of other birds out of the nest.
Mynas pose a potential health risk to humans: they may nest in the roofs of houses where and accumulated droppings and mites provide ideal conditions for disease.
- the management of over-abundant common myna populations can be very expensive, and is rarely successful
- they may cause significant damage to fruit crops in some areas
- they quickly learn to evade traps, and warn their comrades to stay away with loud distress calls
- a fairly small-sized brown bird with a black head and neck
- it has a yellow beak, yellow eye patch, and yellow feet and legs
- white wing patches are obvious in flight
- can be recognised by their jaunty walk rather than hopping movements
- often confused with the noisy miner, Manorina melanocephala, a native Australian species. While common mynas are mostly brown, the noisy miner is largely grey in body
- they thrive in areas of human habitation
- mostly found along the east coast of Australia and have recently extended their range to south-east Queensland
- they are active by day, when they look for fruit, insects, lizards and even small fish
- at night they sleep in communal roosts. Several hundred birds may gather, usually in vegetation with dense foliage
- buildings and the underside of bridges may also be utilised for roosting sites
- they like the forest fringe and normally avoid the interior of many forest reserves
What Council is doing
If the current growth and migration rates of common myna continue, myna-associated problems may continue to rise as the population in South East Queensland grows. The management of problem bird species such as the common myna may be achieved through:
- collection of data on bird species distribution and abundance throughout Brisbane, to understand their behaviour and for the future management of this species
- protection and enhancement of remnant bushland: common mynas prefer forest edges or smaller open or disturbed reserves. By preserving the interior of bushland areas, they may be restricted to the outer edge, minimising the availability of suitable nesting sites
- investigating options for bird management programs in urban areas
- adopting a coordinated approach to bird management with neighbouring Councils.
What you can do
- do not feed the common myna. Ensure no scraps of food or rubbish are left lying around
- myna like palm trees for roosting. Try planting alternative tree species in your garden. Many native plants will attract native wildlife to the garden
- certain planting techniques may also reduce the number of insect pests, reducing food sources for the common myna. Learn how to design your garden
- if using artificial nest boxes to encourage wildlife, try to use a nest box with a backwards facing entry. This allows access to small possums, gliders, small bats and some native birds, while excluding access to common mynas
- remove unnecessary water sources and left-over pet food from the backyard
- do not try to kill or cause injury to the birds
- do not disturb the birds when there are fledglings in the nest
For further information phone Council on 07 3403 8888.