Bring back the indian myna !

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major myna
major myna's picture
Bring back the indian myna !

i have been watching birds in my backyard for many years and noticed the sharp decline in numbers and range of species throughout that time, and i have to say, the elimination of the indian myna has NOT brought about any increase or restoration of the population in the native birds in the area.

the rosellas, willie wagtails, honey eaters, magpies and such have all but vanished, and even the lorikeets are disappearing now. But the once everpresent indian mynas are gone now too, thanks to a concerted public effort to wipe them out, and now there are just fewer birds than ever fir me to enjoy.

the public panic over introduced species is just a form of scapegoating i believe. The indian mynas are charming lively and amusing birds, no more aggressive than your average maggie, and they use to coexist fine with our natives. Sure, they gave other birds a bit of a tussle at times, but that only made the natives tougher, more willing to fight back.

of course the REAL problem for our natives is due to the efforts of people and their pets, but nobody wants to own up to that. Lets all blame these funny little critters! Well I aint down with that. the Indian myna has enriched Australias wildlife, and i miss hearing their clicks and whistles and seeing their little gangs strutting across the grass.

Lets put the blame where it really belongs, on overdevelopment, and land clearing, and people's feral pets (the REAL destructive introduced species) and let these funny little fellows flourish uagain!

at the rate we're wiping out our native species, we may even NEED a hardier more adaptable breed of bird to fill in the ecological niche we are leaving. The Indian myna might be the only bird that can survive in the future we are creating. i say bring them back! Whos with me?

Ezekiell's picture

I would agree that the myna's aren't the real major problem causing the decline in Australian native birds, rather it is the impact of feral cats, urban development, and human activity in general. I actually read an article a few months ago conducted by the CSIRO (off memory I think, I will have to go back to check the article and once found again I will post up for general information) that clearly stated that the myna's aren't responsible for decline of native birdlife and their populations are in fact restricted to urban environments where they are able to survive easily off human refuse. Something our native birds simply aren't able to do is to live off human detritus as many are insectivores or nectivorous!

I wouldn't agree, however, that the myna's should be tolerated. They are able to breed like bunnies and can and do drive out native birds from habitats through competition, particularly when there are large gangs around. They are an introduced species and we should make reasonable attempts to control the population.

Yet we should bear in mind that the myna's are now contributing to the urban ecosystem and without them we simply wouldn't have any wildlife at all in our major cities. Unless we raze the urban environment and convert it back to bushland it's unlikely that we'll have the insectivores/nectivores repopulating urban environments en-mass any time soon.

major myna
major myna's picture

Well said Ezekiell. A reasonable approach is what we need. if Australian native populations were much more abundant, and thriving, in city and in the bush, i believe then the myna's effect on them might be more pronounced, and then it would be reasonable to prioritise the well being of native birds over the mynas, and make a serious effort try to restrict the mynas numbers. But as it is now, i think victimising the myna is only doing more harm to our wildlife no matter how good the intentions might be (but i doubt that too).

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