(Photo: Andrew Tatnell)
Indian mynas (Acridotheres tristis) have again been spotted on the island – this time at the Nelly Bay terminal building. While plans are underway to control this small group of invaders, Islanders and visitors are asked to contact MINCA if they are aware of, or discover, the birds elsewhere.
Indian mynas were introduced into Australia from India in order to eat insect pests in market gardens. From there, they were introduced to north Queensland to control insect pests in sugar cane crops – as was another pest, the cane toad. Since then, they have become a huge problem for both humans and native birds and wildlife.
For humans they damage fruit crops, are noisy and smelly and can spread mites and disease. Getting in to waste bins, they can spread litter and scraps.
But for native birds (including rosellas and kookaburras) and small fauna (such as sugar gliders) they are more of a problem, as they compete aggressively for tree hollows in which to nest and bred, can ‘mob’ other birds, and destroy the eggs and chicks of other species.
Mynas are listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the World’s 100 Worst Invasive Species, and one website claims that they were voted the most unpopular feral animal in Australia.
MINCA is aware that Council is working to keep Magnetic Island myna-free, but if you see them around, let us know and we will pass this information on. Please note that while mynas are feral pests and can legally be destroyed, cruelty to all animals is illegal.
Photo courtesy of