The Indian Myna Problem

Why are Indian (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.
  • out-breed our native birds, often nesting three times a year with up to 6 chicks each time.
  • reduce the breeding success of many native birds.  Indian Mynas compete aggressively for nesting hollows/nesting boxes and evict native birds from these hollows/boxes 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).
  • 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 food sources.
  • act as a potential reservoir for native bird diseases such as avian malaria (Caughley & Sinclair, 1994).
  • carry other avian diseases such as psittacosis and salmonellosis which can potentially impact on human health.
  • 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.
  • generate noise complaints in suburban areas wherever there are large communal roosts.
  • soil outside living and dining spaces for households and eateries.
  • damage fruit, vegetable, and cereal crops, foul stock and poultry feed whilst consuming quantities of same.
  • spread certain weeds such as Lantana and Camphor Laurel (DPI NSW, undated).