There are many things that can be done to reduce the population of mynas and the threat they pose.
Keeping Indian Mynas away will enhance the chances for native birds and wildlife becoming established in your garden.
If mynas become regular visitors, they will be very hard to eradicate – as they learn and pass on locations where they may get food.
Once a pest species becomes established in an area it is virtually impossible to eliminate them. The Indian Myna, however, almost uniquely among pest species is able to be controlled through a sustained trapping program. This is perfectly legal for exotic species but not for native species, and any trapping and euthanising should only be done in line with good animal welfare principles (see the Protocol on Animal Welfare).
Trapping has proven highly successful so far in Canberra: mynas were the 3rd most common bird in Canberra when we started in 2006, according to the Garden Bird Survey of the Canberra Ornithologists Group (COG). By 2019-20 the COG Garden Bird Survey found the trapping program had reduced mynas to the 24th most common bird.
The community-action trapping program can have a significant local impact. One member of the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group Inc trapped 665 in his backyard over six months while another member captured 40 mynas and 37 starlings in his first week of trapping. Where the community are involved in a concerted, sustained and concentrated effort, the difference is profound.
However, we need to avoid complacency, as myna numbers can grow rapidly if a concerted effort is not maintained.
While we probably won’t ever get rid of Indian Mynas, unless we control their numbers we risk losing many of our native birds — particularly parrots. One has to only go to Cairns or Fiji to see the impact of mynas on native bird numbers. However we can at least give our native birds and animals a better chance to resist these exotic invaders by controlling their numbers and the range they inhabit. If we don’t do anything about Indian Mynas we will find less and less native birds and small mammals in our region and more and more Indian Mynas.
See What You Can Do for more information on how communities, governments and businesses can play a part.