The Indian Myna Problem

Why are Indian (or Common) Mynas such a problem?

They are a major threat to our biodiversity.

Where there is favourable habitat (this includes most Australia’s populated areas), Indian Mynas can be expected to have the following range of impacts:

  • are extremely aggressive and territorial, attacking and often killing native wildlife.
  • reduce the breeding success of many native birds.  Indian Mynas compete aggressively for nesting hollows/nesting boxes and evict native birds from nest boxes or tree hollows, and destroy eggs and kill chicks. A pair of Mynas can build nests in multiple nesting hollows without using every nest. Such behaviour probably deters other species and maintains a large breeding territory (Pell & Tidemann, 1997a).
  • also compete for tree hollows with other native wildlife such as possums, gliders and microbats. Indian Mynas can kill small mammals and remove sugar gliders from tree hollows (NSW DPI, undated; Perry, 2008).
  • out-compete natives for shelter and any food sources.
  • out-breed our native birds, often nesting three times a year with up to 6 chicks each time.
  • act as a potential reservoir for native bird diseases such as avian malaria (Caughley & Sinclair, 1994).
  • damage fruit, vegetable, and cereal crops, foul stock and poultry feed whilst consuming quantities of same.
  • spread certain weeds such as Lantana camara (DPI NSW, undated).
  • generate noise complaints in suburban areas wherever there are large communal roosts and soil household washing on clothes-lines.
  • can cause dermatitis, allergies, and asthma in people by nesting in the roofs of houses (Brisbane City Council, 2007).
  • also nests built in roofs of houses are a potential fire risk.
  • carry other avian diseases such as psittacosis and salmonellosis which can potentially impact on human health.