President's Report
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President’s 2011-12 Report

It is my pleasure to present the 2011-12 President’s Report for the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group Inc (CIMAG).  

Another steady year has passed for CIMAG.   

I would like to first recognize the work of the CIMAG Committee:   Marg Peachey, Megan van der Velde, Anne I’ons, Bruce Lindenmayer, Greg Flowers, Rosemary Blemings, Ray Barge, Alison Russell-French, and Peter Ormay for their work on behalf of the group over the past year.  I also wish to record our appreciation for the support and work of our Patron, Prof Tony Peacock.  I must also acknowledge Graham Gliddon for the many hours of work he continues to do each month in collating the capture data, and David Cook for maintaining the CIMAG website and chatlines. 

The achievements of the Group in tackling Indian Mynas in our region are due to the efforts of CIMAG members.  It is their efforts in spreading the word about the threat posed to our wildlife by mynas and in trapping which have been the reason for our collective success.  So a big thankyou to all our members. 

2011-12 can again be regarded as a successful year.  The program continues to receive widespread public support in the region and support from the ACT Government, the RSPCA, the Australian National University, and the Invasive Animals Collaborative Research Centre.  A good number of people from the Canberra and Queanbeyan district – around 140 - joined the group over the past year, adding to the strength of the movement.   Moreover, through their trapping efforts they have helped to reduce further the presence of mynas in our region.    

Our focus over the past year has again been to build the program in our region but also to help spread the effort across eastern Australia.  While things have been steady here, the anti-myna program more widely has been highly successful.  Many new groups were formed and there was much more interest by Victorians and Queenslanders in doing something about mynas.  The local councils and communities that have set up control activities reported good Indian Mynas capture numbers.

A number of activities of the past year are worth specifically mentioning. 

We continued the public education and awareness raising effort during 2011-12.  CIMAG does this in a number of ways: 

Providing support for myna control activities elsewhere has taken up a lot of time over the past year.  Our success has been an inspiration to other groups and individuals across NSW and to a lesser extent Victoria and Queensland.  While this is good to see, it does mean that we field a lot of phone calls and emails from people interstate on how they can manage mynas in their area.   

The trapping effort continues across Canberra and our district.  There are a couple of aspects worth mentioning:

We continued to support good science and research by providing help to PhD research projects on mynas.  In this regard, there are 4 PhD research projects – researchers based at ANU, Newcastle and Orange – currently underway that CIMAG has been supporting.  Generally this is through allowing them access to our capture database, helping with fieldwork monitoring, and providing nestboxes and other materials.  The flurry of research is very valuable, as can be seen from the findings of Kate Grarock that mynas have had a deleterious impact on the numbers of a number of native birds in Canberra.  Daryl King has been adding to this knowledge with his independent research on myna activity in Belconnen suburbs. 

An initiative in 2011-12 was nestbox monitoring during last year’s breeding season in the 14 nature reserves adjacent to suburbs that Kate Grarock used for her field work for her PhD project.  This involved a number of CIMAG members regularly checking the nesting boxes to see if mynas had taken them over and, if so, removing the pest birds. A delight was to see that so many of the boxes were being used by native birds – mostly rosellas – but also Owlet Nightjars.  Our thanks to Kumiko, Victoria, Kathy, Noel, Marg and Peter – the nestbox monitors. 

As always we wish to ensure that our activities are ethically based:  in this regard we continued to emphasize that animal welfare must continue to be at the forefront of our trappers’ consciousness.  Our public credibility and acceptance relies on CIMAG operating in line with public values.  Accordingly, we ask members to abide by sound animal welfare practices.  If members pass their trap onto others, it is important that they are also told of the requirements for   sound animal welfare practices and to sign the Protocol on Animal Welfare which can be found on our website.   

The membership of CIMAG continues to grow strongly.  With just on 1390 members and with around 1100 members who have been trapping at some stage, CIMAG has become a major community-action group in the ACT.   

While myna numbers continue to decline – albeit only slowly now – we must not get complacent that the task is largely done.  We can be sure of one thing.  If we don’t continue the effort of reducing the opportunities for mynas to feed and breed, and if we lessen the culling effort we can anticipate a rapid rise in myna numbers.   

In conclusion I would like to thank all our members for their continuing efforts.  We look forward to your further efforts in tackling this significant pest.    

Bill Handke
12 Oct 2012


Treasurer’s  2011-12 Report

The audited Financial Statement for 2011-12 has been circulated to members and again indicates that the finances of the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group for the 2011-12 financial year have been tight.   The organization has had to operate in a frugal manner given that our revenue – tied to donations provided when traps are given out to people – has been constrained by a reduced number of traps made in the Alexander Maconochie Centre over 2011-12.   

Nonetheless, CIMAG has been fortunate that funds in the bank from past donations have been sufficient to allow us to undertake all the activities that we planned for the year.   

In view of this financial constraint, the CIMAG Committee earlier resolved to apply for funding grants with the federal and ACT governments.  Three grants have been approved and will enable us to finance our activities to a higher level in 2012-13.

Anne I’Ons
12 Oct 2012