Common Myna Project Details

To: <>
Subject: Common Myna Project Details
From: "Tony Lawson" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 13:15:34 +1000

Some of you have been wondering about the nest boxes that have been appearing in several places.  Here is the answer:

Attention Bird Enthusiasts: Support needed for PhD Project on Common Mynas

Kate Grarock is undertaking a PhD research project at ANU on the impact of Common Mynas on native birds and the impact of myna trapping activity, and needs volunteers from the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group (CIMAG) and Canberra Ornithologists Group (COG) members to help with some field work.

She is conducting a removal experiment in 15 Canberra suburbs to see the effect Indian Mynas have on our native species. In five suburbs she will remove a "large" number of mynas and in another five she will remove a "medium" number of mynas ? she will do this with the help of CIMAG members. In the final five suburbs, she will not remove mynas and ask people to defer from trapping for a period of two years.

Each of the 15 suburbs will be monitored by transect counts of all bird species present, and through the establishment of 210 nesting boxes (to monitor nesting success of both natives and mynas). The project started in June 2008 and is planned to continue for 2 years ending in June 2010. This project will build on existing work about the impact mynas are having on Australian native birds. It will also be of interest from a ?removal experiment? standpoint, as often replication of removal experiments is extremely difficult (due to work load and time constraints). Many removal experiments only look at two or three replications per treatment, where as this experiment is aiming for five. This level of replication would not be possible without the strong support of CIMAG and Canberra Ornithologists Group (COG) volunteers.

From this project Kate hopes to answer questions on the size of area that needs to be targeted for the removal of mynas. For example, is it feasible to just concentrate on trapping one suburb at a time or do we need to focus on a much larger area. Additionally, an understanding of how mynas adapt to a reduction in numbers may hold the key to ensuring that reductions are long lasting. For example, increased nesting success in removal areas may be a problem and therefore destruction of nests may be required.

Kate is keen to get approximately 30 volunteers who have a good knowledge of Canberra birds and are willing to help out with bird surveys. The bird surveys will involve a 14 minute walk along a 1 km route, where the observer counts all birds within 50m to the left and right of the survey route. Surveys will be done every second month (Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr, June, Aug), within the first 3 hours of sunrise. Each person will need to do 2 to 3 surveys per survey months of the same area (Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr, June, Aug), therefore 12-18 for the year. People don't need to sign up for the entire 2 years of the project and if they are away for the survey month Kate can do their survey or arrange for it to be done. She will look to match people with suburbs that are close to them so they can easily fit surveys in before work etc.

The suburbs being surveyed are Kaleen, Fraser, Hawker, Aranda, Hackett, O'Connor, Campbell, Deakin, Red Hill, Pearce, Chapman, Bonython, Fadden, Theodore and Kambah. Surveys will be in the adjoining nature reserves of these suburbs or through the urban area running at a right-angle to the nature reserve.

If you are interested or require further information, can you please contact Kate at .

Your support in this valuable research work would be greatly appreciated.

Source: Ginninderra Catchment Group Update September 05

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