The Fraser Coast Regional Council will monitor how a Bundaberg program to reduce Indian myna bird numbers goes.
The Fraser Coast Regional Council will monitor how a Bundaberg program to reduce Indian myna bird numbers goes.

Mynas have a new enemy

THE fight to control Indian mynas in the region has a new leader.

For the past four years the Indian Myna Project for Mid North Coast has been co-ordinated by Tien Pham.

She has been the driving force of the project with up to 500 volunteers and more than 3190 birds trapped and destroyed.

When she leaves her dedicated work to start a family, former National Parks and Wildlife employee Dave Hitchcock will be taking charge.

"The project is a credit to Tien who has been focused on building volunteer numbers and awareness of the seriousness of Indian mynas to our environment," Mr Hitchcock said.

"Her enthusiasm and dedication will be hard to follow, and the project has been consolidated into an effective and enthusiastic group of volunteers on the Mid North Coast."

The Indian myna is an invasive feral bird that drives away native birds and carries disease and lice. They are listed as one of the world's most invasive species and left uncontrolled will reduce native bird populations by competing for food and nesting locations.

"In the last four years the Indian Myna Project for the Mid North Coast has made immense progress in raising community awareness and supporting volunteers.

"Currently, we are at a critical stage in controlling the bird numbers in key areas and with funding due to run out in March 2014 we are very concerned all the gains made could be lost. Now it's time to develop an ongoing plan to ensure success into the future years."

Volunteers have put in a tremendous effort to reduce the population of Indian mynas in Coffs Harbour, Nambucca and Bellingen local government areas and now need even more help to ensure the numbers do not increase.

"It's time to increase the awareness and get more volunteers to assist in reporting sightings of birds, conduct trapping and reporting roost sites."

Anyone who has seen the destructive bird around their backyard or local area is asked to report the number and location to the project: indianmyna_midnorthcoast@yahoo.com.au.



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