ORANGE City Council is stepping up its fight against the aggressive Indian myna birds with plans to introduce traps to capture and euthanise them in a bid to protect native fauna.
Council manager of city presentation Nigel Hobden said while Indian myna birds have been spotted in small numbers in Orange in recent years, he’s concerned numbers are on the rise in the region, despite them being more common in coastal areas and Canberra.
Mr Hobden said there had recently been reported sitings of birds in three Orange locations, as well as a smaller number in Millthorpe and Shadforth.
“Their ability to breed is what’s raising concern,” he said.
Mr Hobden said each bird is able to breed around 18 chicks a season, so council is working hard to stop the numbers getting out of hand.
“They’re a very aggressive species that compete with native animals for shelter,” he said.
Mr Hobden said the birds are also renowned scavengers that frequently eat food from pet food bowl and bins.
“They’re very territorial and they will force native animals, including possums or sugar gliders, out of their hollows,” he said.
“They’ve also been know to kill young chicks or young animals.”
Mr Hobden said he wanted the community to be aware of the birds and the problems associated with them, and he plans to produce a postcard featuring a picture of the birds to help with their identification.
“In spring we’ll set up some traps to capture the birds and take them away to humanely euthanise them,” he said.
Not only are the birds a threat to native fauna, Mr Hobden said in urban environments they are problematic due to the loud noises they make, their food scavenging habits, their tendency to defalcate everywhere and their tendency to nest in roof cavities.
According to Mr Hobden the birds were introduced to Australia in the 1860s to eat bugs in market gardens.