Major Step for Myna Problem                      


Lake Cathie LANDCARE Group Inc.

Incorporation No.  INC9886846      ABN:   22 791 592 831

P.O. Box 247 Lake Cathie NSW 2445

Secretary: Jack Jones    Ph/Fax:  (02) 6584 8211


This article was provided by Jack Jones, Secretary of the Lake Cathie Landcare Group.

So successful has the trapping of a large colony of Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis) birds been in one section of Lake Cathie that Native Noisy Miners (Manorina Melanocephala) are back in numbers. No Indian Mynas have been sighted in that area for the past six (6) weeks.

Trapping of the birds sometimes termed “Rats of the Sky” has been carried out by Lake Cathie Landcare under control of supervisor, John Hunt.

The Indian Myna has been listed by the World Conservation Union among the world’s 100 most invasive species. It moves into nests of native birds destroying their eggs and killing the chicks. The large nests they build rot after being vacated making that tree unusable for our natives. They are also guilty of killing many small mammals.

Mr Hunt said a large colony of the imported birds had taken control in a section of the village. He added “We had the help of a number of residents who put our traps in their yards and the success in wiping out the colony proved the enemy can be controlled. We always, of course, release any native birds that enter the trap unharmed”.

He added “Of course the unwanted birds will try to return and we are ready to deal with them when they arrive”. Trapping is continuing in other parts of Lake Cathie.

 Budgerigars loved their mirrors – so do Mynas
Lake Cathie Member adds a mirror to entice Mynas in the trap

To successfully entice the imported birds to enter the trap a caller bird is usually left in the trap inviting others to join it. A Lake Cathie Landcare volunteer came up with the innovative idea of installing mirrors in the traps fooling the pests into believing their mate is already in the trap and rush to join it.

John Hunt praised the volunteer “This was such a simple and inexpensive way to improve the catch rate. Our volunteer who wishes to remain unnamed will allow other trappers across the country to try this simple upgrade to their traps”

Asked if the mirror had made a difference, the Secretary (Jack Jones) said "Absolutely - A significant increase occurred - before the mirror the birds were very cautious and nervous about entering the trap even with a calling bird inside".

For Literature including photos on how to identify the Indian Myna contact Hastings Landcare at 6586 4465.

(Updated December 2008) 

Lake Cathie Landcare Supervisor, John Hunt,
fits a mirror to an Indian Myna Bird trap



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