Taking action against the Indian Myna

UNWELCOME BIRDS: Community members with Indian Myna traps outside the Lismore Men and Community Shed.
UNWELCOME BIRDS: Community members with Indian Myna traps outside the Lismore Men and Community Shed.

LIKE many introduced species, the Indian Myna bird has reached outlaw status in the Northern Rivers. The damage to native wildlife is so great, Lismore City Council has teamed up with Richmond Landcare and the community to control these unwanted renegades.

Indian Mynas were introduced to Australia in the late 1860s to control insects in market gardens. Originally widespread in south Asia, they now can be found over most of eastern Australia, creating huge problems in cities and urban centres. Highly adaptable, and able to eat a wide variety of food types, they congregate in areas where food sources are regularly available - usually near schools, shopping centres, parks and sporting fields.

Mynas also thrive in rural areas and congregate near cattle farms and dairies where feedlots are readily accessible. Racing stables and farms with chook pens are also prime scavenging areas for Indian Mynas.

"Indian Mynas are very messy birds and nest in tree hollows, palms and under roofs in sheds and houses," said Council's Environmental Strategies Assistant Anton Nguyen.

"They foul nesting sites, attack chicks of other species and breed in tree hollows, rendering them unusable by native wildlife. And they are well adapted to local conditions and breed very quickly."

The Lismore Indian Myna Control program started in 2009 and is jointly coordinated by Lismore City Council, who lend the traps, and Richmond Landcare Incorporated, who administer the program.

"We now have the Lismore Men and Community Shed making the traps, Council staff conducting all year round trapping at various locations including Council's Waste Facility and Sewage Treatment Plants in Lismore and Nimbin," said Anton.

If you would like to get involved with the trapping program, visit the Lismore City Council display at the Lismore Show from October 18 to 20 or phone Hannah Rice-Hayes at Richmond Landcare Incorporated on 6619 1582.

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