Removing a Myna issue

Residents in Tweed and Byron Shires are working together to tackle an increasing natural threat from Indian Myna birds.

Residents from the two northern New South Wales councils have captured around 2,000 of the destructive birds in the last 20 months through the Myna Control Project.

The birds were first introduced into Australia in the 1860s to control insect pests and their population is now growing at an alarming rate.

Indian Mynas evict native animals and birds from their nests, attack chicks of other species and breed in tree hollows, rendering them unusable by other wildlife.

To combat the problem, the councils are:

  • raising public awareness about the serious environmental and health threats from the birds
  • supporting the community to undertake a humane reduction program
  • networking with other councils to increase the levels of controls in their areas
  • monitoring the success of the program.

The project also provides education, coordination support and traps for local communities in northern New South Wales.

Project Officer Pam Gray said the results are testament to the increased involvement by the community. There is also an award for ‘Top Trappers’.

“These worthy trappers are presented with a Top Trapper certificate, and their choice of a voucher to claim native garden plants from Tweed Shire Council nursery, or an Australian Bird Identification handbook,” Pam Gray said.