Re: birding-aus Myna problem and a humane method of control reported.

To: "jon wren" <>, <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Myna problem and a humane method of control reported.
From: "Brown" <>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 08:57:14 +1100
jon wren recently provided us with a copy of an article discussing methods
to control Indian Mynas.

Although this method is relatively humane and no doubt effective in the
short term, one should not forget the problem of competition between natives
and exotics can also be alleviated by positive changes to surrounding

It is one thing to get rid of the enemy but there must be consideration
given to improving appropriate habitat.  Indigenous vegetation and breeding
structures are equally, if not more important than killing hundreds of
animals that are only responding to the environment we have created.

Malcolm Brown
Rye, Victoria

>Gooday all,
>Not sure if everyone sighted the following article tucked away in the
>Weekend Australian 6-7 Nov. 1999
>Article starts.
>Mist nesting helps in a suburban myna miracle.
>EXPERTS believe they may have found a way to stop the skyrocketing numbers
>of Indian myna birds that pose a threat to biodiversity.
>A small-scale trial cull in Sydney recently was successful in killing the
>introduced pests quickly and humanely, according to pest control officer at
>the Australian Museum, Hank van Leeuwen.
>He said the trial, a joint effort between Mosman Council and the museum,
>have solved the puzzle of how to kill the birds in a humane and
>ecologically-friendly manner.
>The mynas, which drive out native birds and chase animals from their
>burrows, have been growing rapidly in number, with flocks up to a thousand
>strong nesting in trees.
>Indian mynas were introduced to Australia last century to control insect
>pests in market gardens.
>Mr van Leeuwen said the trial used a similar technique to bird banders -
>raising mist-netting after the birds had roosted, then disturbing them so
>they would fly into the net.
>Pockets in the netting allowed for any non-target animals to be released
>before the mynas were killed in seconds with carbon dioxide.
>Chris Tidemann, from the forestry department in the school of resource
>management and environmental science at the Australian National University,
>said Indian myna numbers, unlike that of native mynas, had skyrocketed in
>the past 10 to 20 years.
>In Canberra, there were five times more than five years ago.
>Dr Tidemann said the birds, which posed similar problems in other
>tended to live along the east coast in Australia and in woodlands and areas
>cleared for farming.
>The increased rainfall could have added to their healthy state, providing
>good growth conditions for the bugs they eat.
>"The numbers are rising quite quickly now because they have got to a
>critical mass and also because the nature is changing," he said.
>The birds had driven some species almost to extinction on some islands in
>the Pacific, he said.  In Australia, they killed such animals as the sugar
>glider, , small possum, by driving it from its home or pecking at it.
>Dr Tidemann has his own answer to the problem but said he needed about
>$25,000 to get it operational: a Mr Whippy van-style moveable attraction
>the mynas.
>Once the birds had followed the simulated bird calls, broadcast from
>amplifiers, to a synthetic tree, a shroud could be dropped on the birds
>which would then be gassed.
>He said this method was less traumatic for the birds than trapping them in
>netting.  The joint trial in Mosman ruled out using this method, saying it
>would be too expensive.
>VIVIENNE REINER Weekend Australian 6-7 November 1999.

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