About the Indian Myna Bird
Originally introduced by humans into Melbourne from Southeast Asia back in 1862 they quickly established themselves. In 1883 they were taken up to Northern Queensland, ostensibly to combat insects in the cane fields! A feral bird and now also a serious pest they are found in most cities and towns along the east coast of Australia in some areas in plague proportions.
Common Indian Mynas can be an economic problem because they damage fruit and grain crops and their noise and smell can be annoying where they are 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 a few records of mynas attacking people, but this is not common.
Mynas reduce biodiversity by fighting for hollows with native birds like Rosellas and Lorikeets, destroying their eggs and chicks and stopping them from breeding. Indian Mynas are capable of evicting even larger 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. They are a menace to all our native wildlife.
Humane Treatment and Disposal
Full details of approved euthanising & disposal methods as set down by the Australian Government Codes of Practice can be found by visiting
environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/publications/pubs/bir002-trapping-of-pest-birds.pdf (Sorry this link no longer works. We will look for the new one and update this)
Veterinary services could be asked to perform euthenasia on captured birds. One such that has agreed is Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic (03 9764 9000) in Scoresby at 1 George Street Cor of Stud Road between High Street Road and Ferntree Gully Road. Ask for Dr Corrie Pinkster (Avarian Vet).
Another useful link with information on Trapping and Handling and Disposing these birds is Yarra Indian Myna Action Group
- Always use gloves when handling live or dead birds as wild birds may carry disease.
- Any traps used are to be designed specifically for Indian Mynas and to have a mechanism to allow immediate release of any native birds.
- The traps are to contain food and clean water for any trapped birds.
- The birds are not to be exposed to undue stress while trapped.
- Avoid manhandling or approaching the traps too frequently.
- Trapped Indian Mynas are to be disposed of in a reasonable period (within two days), rather than kept captive for days on end.
- If decoy birds are used in traps, they and any trapped birds are to have access to adequate food, clean water, shelter and shade.
- Traps are to be checked morning and evening
- The birds are not to be treated cruelly or left in harsh conditions: please observe the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 1992
- The method used for doing away with trapped birds is to be quick, painless, and stress-free
- Acceptable euthanising methods in most Australian states include gassing with carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide (# which can be produced by petrol car engine exhausts).
- # Rules & regulations are constantly changing. The NSW Department of Primary
Industries have recently outlawed this practice in NSW suggesting the exhausts can cause severe irritation before death. Please check with your relevant state body if you require more information in this regard.
- If using carbon monoxide via engine exhaust, use a car with a cold engine; do not use diesel vehicles. Place the containment chamber with the trapped birds in a near-airtight bag or box, connect a grey water hose / pipe from the car exhaust pipe into the bag / box and run the cold car for a minute or so. The birds should be unconscious within 10-15 seconds and dead within 30-40 seconds. If it takes longer than 30-40 seconds for the birds to die peacefully there is something wrong with your technique.
- It is preferred that cervical dislocation (breaking their necks) is not used, except by qualified professionals and then is to be instantaneous, with minimal handling of the birds.
- Dead birds are to be disposed of in a hygienic and environmentally sound way
- We stress that you should contact your local council to check on rules and regulations for your area and/or the nearest RSPCA for more details on disposal methods. Some branches of the RSPCA have agreed to euthanize and dispose of trapped birds free of charge.
2 types of trap can be purchased online from mynabird.com.au The Tower Trap and the Mini Trap will be delivered to your home anywhere in Australia.
Alternatively you can learn to build your own from the Yarra Indian Myna Action Group. They also sell traps.
The Tower Trap is designed to catch between 1 and 10 birds at a time. The current record is 12. The trap is constructed of heavy duty galvanised wire and stands about 60cms tall. It should last a life time.
- The trap does not injure the birds
- Is delivered to your door anywhere in Australia
- No assembly required
- The trap is very good value - you can pay over $300 for similar size traps