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Family
Genus
Species
Common Names
Distinguishing Features
Survey Techniques
Species Call
Similar Species
Distribution
Country of Origin
Conservation (Pet/Pest) Status - Regional
Conservation (Pet/Pest) Status - National
LSCCES Population
Associated vegetation community
Limiting Resources
Breeding
Behaviour
Functional Group
Food Species
Predators
Threats/Control Methods - Regional
Threats/Control Methods - Local
Local/Urban Actions
Interesting Fact
References

Family

Sturnidae

Genus

Acridotheres

Species

tristis

Threats/Control Methods - Regional

Environment ACT in conjunction with the ANU ran a trapping trial in 2004, finding more research was needed in order to develop more efficient trapping methods.

Threats/Control Methods - Local

Within the ANU Chris Tidemann is researching suitable and humane methods for the control of the species. Check the web for the latest updates, http://sres-associated.anu.edu.au/myna/trapping.html

Local/Urban Actions

It is possible to purchase, rent, or download designs for humane Myna traps. Check http://sres-associated.anu.edu.au/myna/trapping.html, or visit the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group at http://www.indianmynaaction.org.au/

Common Names

Common Myna, Indian Myna, House Myna, Talking Myna, Locust Starling and Myna.

Distinguishing Features

The Common Myna is a medium sized (23 to 25cm) bird with chocolate-brown plumage.  Its head and throat are glossy black with greenish highlights.  The bill and head are deep yellow.  The Common Myna has a distinctive bare yellow patch behind the eye.  It has a long black tail with white tips and a large white panel on the wings that is visible during flight.  Both the adult male and female Common Myna birds are similar in appearance.  The young resemble a dull shade of the adults.

Survey Techniques

Visual identification and calls.

Species Call

An unpleasant collection of growls and other harsh notes.

Similar Species

The Common Myna is often confused with the slightly larger native Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala ) as they both have yellow eye patches and bills.  Although they have similar names they are from different families; the Noisy Miner is a honeyeater while the Common Myna is a starling.

Distribution

There is a patchy distribution through southeast Australia.

Country of Origin

This species inhabits many countries of southern Asia, including India, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, southern China and Vietnam. It was introduced to Canberra in 1968.

Conservation (Pet/Pest) Status - Regional

Only 110 birds were introduced to Canberra in 1968 in the suburb of Forrest.  Now virtually all Canberra suburbs are inhabited. Urban bird surveys conducted yearly by the Canberra Ornithologists Group (COG) recorded a 25-fold increase in abundance of Common Mynas between 1981 and 1996.

Conservation (Pet/Pest) Status - National

Since introduction, the Common Myna has increased in abundance and now poses a significant threat to biodiversity. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) nominates it as one of the 100 of the World's Worst Invasive Species.

LSCCES Population

Many sightings were made in Turner and some in Civic West.

Associated vegetation community

Common Mynas prefer woodland forests with an open grassland understorey, or any area with limited vegetation, including urban areas.

Limiting Resources

Hollow-bearing trees for nesting sites are preferable, however in the absence of suitable trees, the Common Myna shows flexibility in the use of nest sites.  Urban features such as holes in buildings, bridges and crevices, unused vehicles or drainage holes are also used.

Breeding

Common Mynas mate for life and build fairly messy nests in a variety of manmade or natural sites, using leaves, feathers, grasses or rubbish. Couples will often fight for a nest site violently with other Mynas or other bird species, clawing and jabbing until one couple is defeated. Within the ACT, the breeding season occurs from the start of September through to the end of December. On average 2 eggs are successfully laid and hatched.

Behaviour

Common Mynas are social birds and can usually be sighted in small flocks or pairs. They compete aggressively with other bird species. During the evening, the birds gather together in communal roosts and the noise from their calls can be deafening.

Functional Group

Omnivore

Food Species

The Common Myna is a scavenger and will feed on fruits, seeds, berries, invertebrates, nectar and grains.  They will also feed on a variety of food scraps from urban waste and even pet food.

Predators

Within the ACT region, predators for the species are limited, linking to the rapid success of the species within the region.

Interesting Fact

Common Myna birds were introduced to Australia to eat the insect pests on the Queensland cane fields.

References - (reader suitability of references, P=Primary teachers, S=Secondary students, T=Tertiary students and researchers)

Books:
Canberra Ornithologists Group. 2000. Birds of Canberra gardens. Canberra Ornithologists Group and Urban Services, ACT Government, Canberra. S, T

Canberra Ornithologists Group & McComas Taylor. 1992. Birds of the Australian Capital Territory. An Atlas. Canberra Ornithologists Group & National Capital Planning Authority. Canberra. S, T

Hutchins, M. 2002. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. Gale Group, Farmington Hills. S, T

Morcomber, M. 2000. Field guide to Australian Birds. Steve Parish Publishing, Archerfield. P, S, T

Taylor, M. 1992. Birds of the Australian Capital Territory: an atlas. Canberra Ornithologists Group and National Capital Planning Authority, Canberra. S, T

Journals:
Pell, A. & Tidemann, C. 1997. The Ecology of the Common Myna in Urban Nature Reserves in the Australian Capital Territory. EMU.97:141-149. T

Tidemann, C. 2003. Mitigation of the impact of Mynas on biodiversity and public amenity in the ACT Final Report on ACT Environment Grant (ENV 99: 019). Australian National University. T

Online Publications:
Australian Museum. 2003. Fact sheets: Common Myna. [online]. Available at: http://www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/common_myna.htm P, S, T

Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW). 2005. Threatened species: species, populations and ecological communities of NSW. [online]. Available at: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/index.aspx S, T

Department of Environment and Heritage, Australian Government. 2006. Threatened species and threatened ecological communiti es. [online]. Available at: http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/index.html S, T

Environment ACT, ACT Government. 2006. Listing of Threatened Species, Ecological Communities and Threatening Processes. [online]. Available at: http://www.environment.act.gov.au/nativeplantsandanimals/threatecspec/thrtspecinfo S, T

Environment ACT . 2006. Indian Myna Birds. [online]. Available at: http://www.environment.act.gov.au/yourenvironmenthwp/pests/indianmynabirds S, T

Lowe S. et al. 2000. 100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species A selection from the Global Invasive Species Database. Published by The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) a specialist group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). [online]. Available at:
http://www.issg.org/booklet.pdf  S, T

Tidemann, C. 2006. Common Myna. [online]. Available at:
http://sres-associated.anu.edu.au/myna/index.html S, T

Tidemann C. 2002. Mitigation of the Impacts of Mynas on Biodiversity and Public Amenity. [online]. Available at: http://sres.anu.edu.au/associated/myna/minimise_files/Myna_Mitigation_PhaseI.pdf T

 

 

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