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*** OLD *** Experts deliver encouraging recommendations

Bird experts and community agree on the need to halt the spread of Myna birds in western Victoria.

A recent workshop in Ballarat (Victoria) involving representatives from community groups, government and research institutions discussed opportunities to stop the westerly invasion of Common (Indian) Mynas in Victoria. Mynas were introduced to Melbourne 148 years ago but have spread slowly west at rates around 1 km/year. Mynas cause significant social problems to an estimated 13 million Australians and are an agricultural and biodiversity pest.

Mynas are not a declared pest in Victoria. Consequently there is no requirement for control and little incentive for governments to redirect scarce resources away from declared pests. However, landowners can play a major part in Myna control through capturing and disposing of mynas using legal and humane means.

Meeting participants agreed there was potential to effectively control mynas at the invasion front in regional Victoria and this should be pursued. Community trapping programs together with available resources could be the key to halting the spread, with initial input and coordination by local government and relevant groups such as bird societies. Impediments such as an accepted practical euthanasia technique for trapped birds were identified. Participants were urged to use the next 6 months to raise local awareness prior to a concerted effort to instigate community control programs in the invasion front.

The Mynascan web-based tool for mapping and sharing information on mynas will become a useful resource for identifying invasion fronts and engaging individuals and community groups to collaborate to undertake control. Myna birds can be stopped if community, government and research groups come together.
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