Common Indian mynas were first brought to Melbourne in 1862 to control pests in market gardens. Even though they weren't successful at this, they spread quickly. Today there are feral colonies all around Australia and while control programs exist, there are steps you can take to keep myna birds away.
The Common Indian Myna
The myna is among the world’s top 100 most invasive pest species, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. They are responsible for the extinction of local bird species, health problems and property damage.
Why are Common Indian Mynas a problem?
Mynas are a problem because they compete aggressively with native wildlife for nesting hollows, evicting and killing young kookaburras, rosellas and dollar birds as well as small mammals like sugar gliders and ringtail possums.
Mynas invade habitats and increase the risk of extinction of some already endangered native species.
Why are Common Indian Mynas a pest?
Mynas are an economic problem because they damage grain and fruit crops. Mynas can also spread mites and they can spread disease to people and domestic animals. Mynas have proved to be a problem in outdoor eating areas, stealing food from people's plates.
Common Indian Myna v Native Noisy Myna
The common myna is chocolate-brown in colour and has a black head and neck and should not be confused with Australia’s native, the noisy myna which is grey in colour. Like all native animals, the noisy myna is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
What can you do?
There are a number of steps you can take to assist to reduce Indian myna problems. Remove available food sources by feeding pets indoors or clear away their food when finished and ensure rubbish bin lids are closed and secured. Clear away food scraps after eating outdoors and do not feed birds in parks and playgrounds. Make gardens less attractive to mynas by removing weeds, especially berry producing weeds such as Privet, Asparagus fern, Ochna, African olive and Camphor laurel and create a native garden using a good mix of local native species. Block holes in your roof or eaves to remove nesting sites. Before you do so, make sure there aren’t any other animals such as possums or bats using the area, otherwise they’ll be trapped inside your roof. Help to identify Indian myna hotspots and monitor activity, including nesting and roosting sites, using the MynaScan website.
Keeping Myna Birds off your property
If you wish to control myna birds on your property, the best thing to do is to contact a local pest control company.
Mynas and the law
The NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 defines pest species as an animal that has an adverse effect on, or is suspected of having an adverse effect on, the environment, the economy or the community. Indian myna are recognised as a pest species in the Greater Sydney Regional Strategic Pest Animal Plan 2018 - 2023.