Technical

Why Are Mynas a Problem?

Feral Myna

A feral myna in Australia

In India, where the Indian myna originated, it is called the “Farmer’s Friend” because it eats insects that destroy crop plants. The name myna comes from a Hindi word, “maina” meaning a bird of the starling family, Sturnidae, to which mynas belong. Mynas in India are also regarded as symbols of undying love, because they often pair for life and maina is also sometimes used as a term of endearment for young girls.

Indian mynas and some other species of myna, particularly Indian hill mynas, Gracula religiosa, are accomplished mimics and can learn to talk. For this reason mynas have been taken to many parts of the world as cage birds.

Nesting Myna

A myna nesting in a tree hollow

Indian mynas were brought to Melbourne in 1862 to control insect pests in market gardens, but even though they were not successful at this, they were taken from Melbourne to many other places in Australia, including north Queensland, where it was thought they would control insect pests of sugar cane. Cane Toads were introduced to Queensland for the same reason and have also become pests. Indian mynas have established feral populations in many parts of the world.

Indian mynas are an economic problem in both agricultural and horticultural situations causing significant damage in fruit, vegetable and grain crops. Their noise and smell can be annoying where they congregate in large numbers. Mynas can also spread mites and they have the potential to spread disease to people and domestic animals. Mynas become quite fearless of people if they are not hassled and can be a problem in outdoor eating areas by stealing food off people’s plates. There are also several records of mynas attacking people, but this is not common.

Nest contents

Contents of a single nest

Perhaps the Common or Indian Myna’s most serious “crime” is that it competes aggressively with native wildlife for nesting hollows. Mynas nest in tree hollows, or places like them, such as holes in roofs. Hollows are in short supply over much of Australia because of clearing for agriculture.

Mynas reduce biodiversity by competing for hollows with native birds like Rosellas, destroying their eggs and chicks and stopping them from breeding. Indian Mynas are capable of evicting even large birds such as Kookaburras and Dollar Birds from their nests. They also evict small mammals, like Sugar Gliders from hollows – which commonly means a death sentence for the Gliders because they have nowhere else to go. It is not uncommon for groups of mynas to mob other birds and mammals like possums.

Chicks in nest box

Myna chicks in nest box

In the ACT and some other places in Australia Mynas have invaded woodland habitats. There is not much woodland left in Australia and this additional threat to native wildlife can be a serious problem for biodiversity conservation.

Indian Mynas are a serious problem for biodiversity conservation in many countries other than Australia. In the year 2000, Indian Mynas were listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as one of the World’s 100 Worst Invasive Species.

Sugar Glider

Sugar Glider

Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosella

Win the war against Indian mynas

We are proud to introduce the Myna Magnet – a scientifically designed Indian myna trap. Homeowners, councils, professional pest managers and community groups have the opportunity to help reduce or eliminate this environmentally destructive pest. These collapsible traps are the result of years of study and research at the Australian National University (ANU) and is highly effective and species selective. You can help our environment by eradicating the Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis) or “Cane Toad with Wings” as they are often called with this trap.

NOW AVAILABLE – New Mini Myna Magnets are now in stock.

New Magnet Trap CO₂ Dispatching Kits are now available. This is the best and most humane way to dispatch your trapped birds. The shipment of new Mini Myna Magnet and Pigeon Magnet Traps has now arrived.

NOW AVAILABLE – New heavy duty, collapsible Pigeon Magnets, Fox Magnets, Cat Magnets and Possum Magnets.

When using the Myna Magnet, our clients traps report a speedy return of native bird species once the Indian mynas have been eliminated. The Myna Magnet is a programmed approach at winning the war against Indian mynas using a humane solution to a potentially devastating environmental problem.

The Myna Magnet is suitable for use in domestic, commercial, council, rural and horticultural situations. The Myna Magnet can also be successfully used to trap European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).