Common Mynas

To: " Chris Lloyd" <>, <>
Subject: Common Mynas
From: "Greg & Val Clancy" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 11:59:03 +1100
Chris makes a good point - the evidence that Common Mynas are causing the demise of native species is scant and there has grown a ever increasing movement of anti-"Indian Myna" recruits with little scientific evidence to support them. It is always hard to know whether, for example, the Peaceful Doves have disappeared from an area because the Spotted Turtle-Doves have taken over or whether the altered habitat no longer suits the Peaceful Doves.

The evidence that is available indicates that Common Mynas do impact on hollow nesting native birds in disturbed areas (urban and agricultural areas) but the species doesn't appear to be able to penetrate relatively undisturbed areas such as forests. Even backyards that are predominantly of local native species, like mine, are not suitable for the Mynas.

If we want to protect the hollow-nesting natives of urban and agricultural areas then the culling of the Common Mynas is important - although despite the use of many traps in areas of the north coast NSW the spread continues. Another, possibly more important method is to protect and expand areas of native bushland in urban and agricultural areas as this will also provide additional ecological benefits.

The proliferation of cattle feedlots in some areas has assisted the spread of this species as well. It also benefits from food spillage around horse stables and bird aviaries (and of course the people that can help themselves - those that feed birds in their backyards).

And by the way let's stop calling them "Indian Mynas'. Their correct common name is 'Common Myna' and they have a much wider natural distribution than just India.

In case I have given the wrong impression I would like to state that I would much prefer an Australian landscape without Common Mynas, Common Starlings, Spotted Turtle-Doves etc. but there may be a number of ways of achieving this that haven't been fully explored, such as habitat restoration.

Greg Clancy

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