The idea of an aviary trap came from a large trap being used at Childers in the Bundaberg region, Qld in 2016.  A like-minded associate, John W who is a volunteer and stepped up to co-ordinate to assist people in the Harvey Bay area and educate people by running Indian Myna workshops as far south as Gympie, sent me a photo of an aviary size trap.  Not much detail was given except that volunteers from the Men Shed would service the aviary and remove the caught mynas with a net.  As Childers had a bounty of $2.00 per myna, the Men Shed received payment for servicing the aviary trap.

The CVCIA Myna team applied for and received a small grant from the Local Land Services Grafton to make an aviary trap.  The aviary trap was put into action in February 2019 but due to the fire season, it was taken out of action in July 2019.  During this period, 57 Indian Mynas were caught and several more tweakings of the aviary trapping set-up were done .  Great appreciation to Kevin Noble for his brilliant engineering skills and patience in reconstructing and transforming an aviary into an Indian Myna trap.  The cost of the materials was around $600 but Kevin’s time was free labour.

 The advantages are that aviaries need servicing less frequently – the caller and caught birds are in a safer environment; trapped birds do not need to be euthanased daily; the solid sides are less prone to rats, snakes and other animal attacks, etc.  The aviary trap is ideal for locations with a large number of birds; where the location is not suitable for a standard myna trap due to pets and other animals or birds eg ibis; and when the landholder such as a farmer is too busy to fully service a trap but can commit a small amount of time toward trapping.

Caught mynas in an aviary trap

Considerations in designing a functional aviary trap was the welfare of the caught birds; hygiene issues for the birds and people servicing the aviary; and an easier and less stressful method of removing the caught birds rather than using a net and manual handling.  There is still a need for the aviary trap to be monitored frequently to ensure the baiting/trapping platform has bait; food and water is available to the caught mynas; and no non-targeted birds or animals are inside.

Through a Myna Pest Management Grant obtained in February 2021 by Clarence Landcare (CLinc) from North Coast Local Land Services, a second aviary trap was built and fixed to a trailer together with a smaller aviary trap. This grant and a second grant (Myna Bush Fire by CLinc in August 2021 from Landcare Australia) assisted in Field Officers locating and servicing the aviary traps. In the period 1/8/21-17/4/22, 609 mynas were trapped using our 3 aviary traps.
Currently at the majority of locations, the landholder does the monitoring/re-baiting and advises when the aviary needs servicing.  There is one landholder who self-manages/services an aviary trap.