OUR TALLY IS APPROACHING 11,000 MYNAS
Yes, a well overdue newsletter, the last one was in October 2016 – apologies, only 24hrs in a day and time just flies. For those interested, you can view all past newsletters on this website.
2018 CLARENCE VALLEY AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS
CVCIA was awarded the Clarence Valley Council’s Australia Day Community Achievement Award for our group’s Cane Toad and Indian (Common) Myna control efforts. Scott, the Toad buster co-ordinator said a few words and I tried to say my bit whilst struggling with my emotions, I hope some of the audience got the gist.
What I tried to say was:
“We only preserve what we love, we only love what we understand, and we only understand what we learn”.
To me this describes the past, present and future volunteers and supporters who are committed to and know the threats that introduced pest species have on our native wildlife. This award is for all our volunteers and I thank them on behalf of the environment for caring and dealing with ‘the yuck factor’.
MYNA WORKSHOP & PRESENTATIONS
Kevin and I, by invitation, did the following events: 2017: Feb – Landcare at Tenterfield & Stanthorpe; then Roseberry Creek (BRRVLN) north of Kyogle .
Sept – Glen Innes Landcare & Inverell Landcare.
Oct – Jiggi (BRRVLN) north of Lismore.
Nov – Earth Matters, Grafton; Macleay Landcare (Kempsey). Also managed to trap a couple of mynas during the presentation at Kempsey Showground.
2018: Feb – Hastings Landcare (Port Macquarie). This was a very satisfying presentation to 60 locals.
Trappers found 2017 a challenging year as mynas have been more wary and difficult to trap. The total was boosted by Bruce from Wooli who contributed over a third of the 2017 tally. Please read his story P2. Those who are experiencing wary mynas, please consider changing the appearance of your trap by covering the white coreflute roof eg secure some blue towel or similar; put a different colour shade cloth over the existing one; try the trap in a different location; and do not forget the cheezels.
Where we have good trappers they have been successful as the mynas have been caught and generally few have returned to their properties for some time. It is also important to prevent a myna escaping when you are servicing the trap or retrieving the bird for euthanasing. We believe that an escaped myna spreads the word. Please don’t forget to anchor the trap to the ground to prevent it being blown over.
I thank those trappers who readily let us know their monthly tallies or myna activity, or take the time to reply to our emails, phone calls. It is much easier for you to contact one person than, for example, me to contact 60+ trappers. I deal with myna inquiries 7 days a week so I understand about busy lifestyles but the data you provide helps form a picture of myna activity in the Valley and these figures help justify the continuation of the trapping program.
The statistics can tell us info such as where mynas mass flock to during Autumn/Winter and distribution during breeding season. If you could please at least contact us once a quarter, this acknowledges that you remember your commitment to look after the trap and are prepared to use it when needed and all is ok. So please give us your monthly tallies even if zero.
If you need contact details of one of the Area Contacts – Helen (Waterview Heights area), Paul (Yamba area) or Tim (Gulmarrad area) – please contact me.
Here are a couple of good examples of when networking has had instant results.
22/6/17 Jeff rings his Yamba contact, Paul, looking for a caller; Paul rings me; I ring Tim at Gulmarrad.
26/6/17 Tim sms – has caught a caller 9.29am; I rang Jeff 9.46am to ring Tim; Jeff picked up caller that morning and caught 5 birds by 3.23pm.
24/1/18 Laura answers an inquiry from Jim at Iluka who wishes to trap. 5 minutes later, Dennis from Iluka wants to return his trap and caller. Before Dennis left for holidays that evening, he kindly took the trap over to Jim and help him set it up.
26/1/18 7.50am Jim advised there are 4 mynas in the trap and another 3 hanging about. He caught all 8.
Thanks to all who network and help existing trappers with callers. If you know someone who may want to trap, please have them contact me or give me their details. Also great thanks to our Area Contacts who arrange euthanasing for some of their trappers, and Tim who travels to assist people to trap on their properties.
BRUCE – HAVE TRAP WILL TRAVEL
Bruce from Wooli has been trapping prior to our program starting in January 2011 and his data shows a clear pattern that mynas are only in the village during September to December. He caught all 65 mynas in Wooli during this period in 2017. Bruce has also trapped when he visited family in Newcastle. In 2017 he could see that mynas were building up along the road between Wooli and Ulmarra so he took on the job of trapping along this stretch. This is an area where we have only a few trappers. He would build a rapport with residents who were happy for Bruce to set up traps and service them daily. He assisted an ex-trapper from a few years ago, Bruce trapped for him and one day Bruce serviced the trap in the morning and had caught 24 mynas by the afternoon. He also has drop-down traps which he mostly used at Ulmarra showground. The showground is public land, so he must monitor the traps at all times. It can take mynas some time to become accustomed to the Pee-Gee trap, so Bruce takes 3 drop-down traps and callers in separate holding cages. Bruce sets up his traps, puts a stick to prop the trap up and leads a fishing-line to his car which is parked about 20m away. He then sits patiently until mynas come down for food or water and then he pulls the fishing-line. Bruce only collects the caught mynas and reset the traps once all the traps have been pulled down. This method alone he has caught 141 mynas at Ulmarra showground. For 2017 Bruce’s total was 552.
Traps: Since Nortec commenced building traps for other areas in 2014 we have supplied 235 traps to 15 Landcare, Councils or Indian Myna Action groups and 60 traps to individuals mainly in NSW but as far as Gympie and Victoria. We have passed many Victorian inquiries onto Yarra Indian Myna Action group as interstate freight is prohibitive.
CVCIA MYNA PROJECTS
An update on our different trialling methods. Due to the distances between the locations of myna populations, and aligning all the variables at the same time – mynas, weather, location and experts’ availability – conclusions so far:
Shooting Trial: end result, not cost and time effective for a Professional shooter. Shooting is successful and cheap if landowner can do it.
Mist Netting Trial: 4 different locations reviewed; 2 trials so far. 0 mynas caught whilst several other birds released. Haven’t given up, need suitable site with lots of mynas and not many native birds.
Nest Removal: 2 locations but fledglings left before the arborist arrived. Also another down-side is not much feedback of nesting sites or if a tree is located cannot find the property owner for permission.
Aviary Trap: Still a work in progress but it is almost ready to test, probably at a waste management site.
If you have a Myna problem which you believe could be helped by any of the above please contact us.
Is anyone interested in assisting with compiling the monthly tallies? This would involve emailing, SMS’ing or ringing trappers on a monthly basis to see if they have mynas in their area, if they are trapping and have caught any and emailing this info to Laura, together with any queries the trappers may have.
Due to our seemingly ever increasing workload and finding content for the Newsletter it appears an annual newsletter will have to be adequate. Newsletter contributions of articles/comments are most welcome.
Membership for 2017/18 is now due. Although it is not a requirement for trappers to be members we do encourage it as the small fee ($5 for individuals or $10 per family) helps to support the CVCIA programs. Please see our website for more details.
Phone: Laura on 6649 4712 or your area co-ordinator.
INDIAN MYNA TALLY
2011 = 1,593 2012 = 2,010
2013 = 1,753 2014 = 1,343
2015 = 1,210 2016 = 1,572
2017 = 1,438
TOTAL TO DATE 10,919
TOP 10 TRAPPING AREAS 2017