Details of this species in Australia
Occurrence: Established and expanding
Source: Tidemann 2007d
Species Notes for this Location:
Introductions of the common myna into Australia occurred over the period 1862 to 1872 (Long 1981, in Pell & Tidemann 1997). They can now be found in large roosts along the eastern coast of Australia (Tidemann 2006, in Griffin 2009) and are well established in many urban and agricultural areas of south eastern Victoria, in Sydney and in northern Queensland from Townsville to Cairns. They are also found in Adelaide and its surrounds and in Australian Capital Territory (Massam 2001). Expanded ranges in eastern Australia could be due to roadways providing dispersal corridors (Newsome and Noble 1986). The myna is increasingly penetrating savanna, woodland and edges of other habitats particularly when nesting (Tidemann and Pell 1997b). The common myna is spreading in Eastern Australia; for a distribution map showing changes in common myna distribution in Australia please see: Tildemann. 2007. Common Indian Myna Website > Are Mynas spreading?.
Using the computer prediction system BIOCLIM, climatically suitable areas for the spread and colonization of the common myna were described (Martin 1996). Suitable areas were predicted as occurring throughout the eastern regions of Australia from north of Cairns, Queensland, through to southeast South Australia. Further areas predicted as suitable occurred on the gulf peninsulas of South Australia and in the extreme south-west comer of Western Australia. Much of the predicted area occurs in the more intensively settled regions of Australia where considerable suitable habitat for the common myna exists. This study supports the hypothesis that common myna range expansion is limited to above a 40°S latitude due to unsuitable climate. Colder regions of south-eastern Australia are also predicted to be unsuitable.
Management Notes for this Location:
There are active management programs aimed at controlling mynas in Australia.
Integrated Pest Management: Councils and community groups between Queensland and Victoria have been using the radio and press ads to encourage monitoring of the spread of the common myna (Thomas 2004). The Canberra Indian Myna Action Group has been set up with the aim of protecting Australian native birds and mammals from the threat posed by the common myna in the Canberra region.
Trapping: The highly intelligent myna quickly learns to avoid traditional traps. The type of trap currently being trialed and used in Australia is based on providing the mynas with food, shelter and perches in cages a few days prior to trapping. The traps encourage more mynas to visit and roost inside. The birds are eventually killed humanely with carbon dioxide (Thomas 2004).
Shooting: Some success in using shooting to control low density infestations has been reported in Australia by using a decoy person who leaves the shooting area (presumably after pre-feeding) carrying a stick, while the actual shooter stays behind.
Other: The Crop Gard is a bird repelling sound unit with three major sound categories: Electronic Scarecrow, Screech and Flower Fruit Scarer. These sounds can be played sequentially or in a completely random order. Random order is recommended to present a more chaotic sound to the birds, which is harder to adapt to. The Electronic Scarecrow sound has been getting good results in Australian vineyards and orchards.
Agricultural: The common myna has the potential to become a serious economic pest species in Australia because it is known to damage fruit crops (Dawson & Bull 1970, Wilson 1973, Lever 1987, in Martin 1996) and young vegetable crops (Frith 1979 1984, in Martin 1996). They particularly like figs (Frith 1979).
Competition: The common myna competes aggressively with native wildlife for nesting hollows. Hollows are in short supply over much of Australia because of clearing for agriculture (Tidemann 2007c). Australian woodlands supports a wide range of hole-nesting bird and mammal species, particularly parrots and kingfishers. Studies in Australia and some oceanic islands suggest that mynas can reduce the breeding success of several hole-nesting species, particularly parrots. Many of these species are classified as threatened. Many observations have also been made in which species have been recorded being usurped from nest holes by mynas. Species affected include the laughing kookaburra (Decelo gigas), sacred kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus), galah (Cacatua roseicapilla), eastern rosella or pale-headed rosella (Platycelus eximius), and crimson rosella (Playcelus elegans). Several small mammal species such as the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps), are also evicted from hollows by mynas.
Disease transmission: Mynas can spread mites and they have the potential to spread disease to people and domestic animals (Tidemann 2007c).
Human nuisance: In urban areas common mynas form large communal roosts that may become an annoyance to residents
due to noise and faecal matter (Kang et al. 1990, in Martin 1996) and they have potential to spread disease (Long 1981, Crawford 1990, in Martin 1996). Mynas become quite fearless of people if they are not hassled and can be a problem in outdoor eating areas by stealing food off people’s plates (Tidemann 2007c).
Last Modified: 27/11/2009 2:29:26 p.m.