Common Mynas

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Common Mynas
From: "Greg Clancy" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2005 17:57:26 +1100
Hi Birdos,
The newsletter article on Common Mynas on the South Coast submitted by Alan Morris raises some interesting questions.  In particular the question is "are Common Mynas having the serious impacts on native bird species that we all like to believe".  As a purist I would like to see all of the introduced species of fauna removed from the Australian landscape but in any discussion of this type we must stick with the facts.  The facts on Common Mynas in the Clarence Valley are: 
they have established populations in a number of scattered locations; groups of up to 40 or more are sometimes observed; a pair used a Grey-crowned Babbler's nest/dormitory at Coutts Crossing for nesting last season; interactions between Mynas and Rainbow Lorikeets at hollows have been observed; however on the opposite side of the ledger - they do not occur in undisturbed or lightly disturbed bushland; they are most common where stock (horses and/or cattle) are fed.
An important question is whether the number of available nest hollows is a limitation on the Myna population.  Will they spread to use up all available hollows or are they territorial and use one hollow in a given area while all other hollows are available to the native birds. In an area where there are a large number of hollows the impact may be negligible, in areas where hollow trees are rare it would be significant.
Although I am an optimist I am still very concerned about the potential impact this species may have on our local birds, as well as on birds throughout its spreading range. But we shouldn't jump to conclusions.  We should document what is happening and if people can remove the species on a local basis it should be done, but the impact of the species may not be the same everywhere.  Mynas are only one of a number of pressures on birds in places like Sydney and Canberra.
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