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The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

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SeanO
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The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby SeanO » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:22 pm

Hello all.

As you can see, I am a 'noob' to this forum, but have registered to gauge opinion on a number of issues regarding problematic, invasive species, and primarily Indian Mynahs.

Let me say firstly, that I am a bird lover and conservationist. Let me also say up front that I am a hunter (ok... give it to me... ouch... eina... owwwww!)

My issue is that nothing is being done to control invasive bird species, with the effect that our indigenous species are suffering extreme stress and decline. I make particular reference to the Indian Mynah problem that has, over the last few years, become out of control in Johannesburg.

As an example, I put my own little 'microcosm' forward...

My Johannesburg garden.

Over the past 9 years, I had developed a strong, population of indigenous (birds) visitors (and residents) on my property, through providing the required habitat and food source.

These include the following (please excuse any naming errors)
1. 4 pairs of Red Billed Wood Hoopoos
2. Numerous Olive thrushes ('Flopwing' being the 'overlord')
3. A pair of Crested Barbets (there were 2 pairs)
4. 2 pairs of Black Collared Barbets
5. 1 pair of Burchells Coucals
6. Numerous Robins
7. 3 Hoopoos
8. A pair of Fiscal Shrikes
9. I estimate up to 4 individual Glossy Starlings
10. Flocks of Mousebirds
11. 1 Cockatiel (yes... someone's escaped pet)
12. Red faced finches and other seed eaters
13. at least 8 individual Grey Louries ('Mandela' being the 'king')
13. Various common species (sparrows, weavers, doves, rock pigeons and others)

Here's the kicker...

A short while back (1 season), a 'mob' of 6 - 10 Mynahs began frequenting the garden.

The Crested barbets were the first to go. Second were the Black collared barbets and then the Glossy Starlings. The Coucals became infrequent visitors, as did the Red Billed Wood Hoopoos and 'common' Hoopoos. Eventually, all I was left with were doves, sparrows, louries and... MYNAHS!

It did not take rocket science to realise what the problem was, and being a 'hunter', the unwelcome guests were (humanely, using a lead-based agent :) ) dispatched.

I now have (since February or so), my 'old' population back where they belong. The wonderful sound of the Coucals were music to my ears. The Barbets have all returned to view and I very seldom have any unwelcome 'Subcontinental Eastern Aviation' visitors. My little patch is largely avoided by 'them'.

My point, long-winded though it may be, is if my 'little patch' was impacted so drastically by the Mynahs, how are they affecting the greater indigenous populations of bird species in Johannesburg, and...

WHAT IS BEING DONE TO COMBAT HE SCOURGE??????

I notice that Australia is far further down the indigenous destruction line than we are at present?

Can anyone enlighten me?

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Yolandé Oelsen
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:49 pm

I have also noticed an increase in numbers of these birds in Krugersdorp. :evil:
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:50 pm

Hi SeanO,

I'm so happy to see a debate on this topic starting to begin :dance:

As for your hunting Issuse---------I LOVE BILTONG!!! :thumbs_up: But don't appreciate It as a sport!!! Hahaha................EXCEPT!!!

With our Feathered Foe, the Indian Myna.....I Live in a Cluster Complex, riddled with cats...And up until recent years, had lists of over a Hundred species seen either in or from my Garden...Until the Myna's arrived.....I was lucky to even see a bird land in my garden, If they dared take on the mob of Dive Bombing Black feathers....Cats were not the issuse, and as you mentioned, It Is obvious who Is.

Shooting of the birds Is as I've read, Against the Law....And they have been accepted in the Suburbs as A South African Species, as the House Sparrow has been....But yet around the Kruger National Park, they are erradicated on sight, As to try protect the Indigenous species within....this obviously stating the fact that It is a Problem bird. So why Is it not dealt with in the Suburbs???

1-I believe they have gone against allowing shooting them, as a safety risk, as many little kids, as myself, would be walking around shooting lead pellets left right and off-centre :lol: ....(When I was 15, a few years ago, I was paid R10 by many of my neighbours, for every Myna I brought back, not breathing :) ) This was a great way to make a living I thought, and Once realising in Birds and Birding Mag that Is was illegal, I became poor again :cry:

I however, Believe there Is a need to lessen the numbers of Mynas drastically....And believe there Is a way........Mynas are communial and outright noisey roosters...I think that by using mist nets, one can catch plenty of these birds and dispose of them.

Many people I've spoken to say numbers are to High, and we are too late to solve the problem....Numbers are only going to increase, as they have no major threats, and are damn smart little creatures.......Able to spot an Air Rifle from Miles away :lol:

As far as I know, Faansie Peacock, the Author of the book Pipits of Southern Africa, Is doing or has done a study on the effects of the Myna on our Indigenous bird life :) anyone know more about this???

I personally think they need to go!!!
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Imax » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:08 pm

JustinO welcome to the forum :yaya:

I think most of suburban dwellers will have the same issues and feelings regarding the Mynahs! I was quite upset in finding them on the family farm in the SE Freestate, a place where they have not been found before.

I'll admit that i have also taken the odd pellet shot at them :naughty: , but it does not work. Pretty soon just more will be back. It’s like swatting flies.

Currently I only have a pair in my garden, and i have a large garden.
It has cost me to get it to this, but my plan worked so far.

The cost was the removal of all my nesting stumps. fortunately not at the cost of losing the species that use them. Although they no longer breed in my garden I still have 4 Black-collared barbets, 2 Crested barbets, 2 Hoopoe and about 8 Wood hoopoe.

In addition to this I blocked all places where they could nest leaving only one.

Effectively this only allows for one breeding pair, and due to unavailability of nesting sites, I do believe they keep others out. In addition to this I try to encourage 2 species that hate them and will actively chase them away - Glossy Starlings and African Hoopoes (yes that’s right! they give the Mynahs the most hell). Glossies you attract by providing diverse range of food from lards to fruit. Hoopoes by a well kept lawn and mulching in your borders with fallen leaves.

Thus far it’s working, for 2 years now I have had only the two, and they pretty much remain aloof.

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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby rusky » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:16 am

On reading this thread a thot jumped in

to most species of indigenious animals and birds and plants, WE (homo sapiens) would be the "Indian Mynah" - n'est pas :wink:
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Rusty Justy
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:35 pm

I think our numbers should drop too :lol:

And I just can't picture catching people in Mist nets! :hmz:
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Falconry4ever » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:04 pm

This was one of many proud moments that I had during my falconry experience for three years in PTA. My solution...
...combat FEATHER WITH FEATHER.

HOPE THERE ARE NO SPCA EMPLOYEES HERE :shock:

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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Ferdelance » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:33 pm

Well now.... I like what I see! :sniper: That is one D.E.A.D myhna! :dance: or one fast Falcon.

I believe that something must definatly be done about the myhnas. Shooting them is definatly not a option quite simply cause it dosn't work! How about bio warfare........ :twisted: ....... like they starting to do in Aus with the LITTLE Cane Toad problem! Not that myhna's are poisonous! Just maybe non-breeding birds will die eventually right! :whistle:
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:57 am

Great Falconry4ever! Where can I get me self a falcon?? :lol:
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Falconry4ever » Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:56 am

Yolandé Oelsen wrote:Great Falconry4ever! Where can I get me self a falcon?? :lol:


Falconry4ever wrote:Hey its not a pet I always tell people. It is a COMMITMENT. Otherwise if you are up for looking after a really special animal, join Transvaal Falconry Club if you stay in Gauteng.
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:59 pm

The Mynahs in our neighbourhood has increased in the last 10+ days :evil:
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby SeanO » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:36 pm

Well... mynahs breed twice a year, raising 2 chicks with a very high survival rate.

It then stands to reason, that if they outbreed, outcompete and overpopulate the nesting sites throughout the country, what (indigenous) bird life will remain?

Can someone answer this?

Something drastic needs to be done, I feel. The implications of apathy and non-action are very far-reaching and go beyond the 'live and let live' issues.
As with elephant culling, where overpopulation will be devastating to the environment, these birds need to be controlled, based on the same principals.

Man (the Dept of Environmental Affairs?) must become its natural, primary predator.

Does anyone disagree? Does anyone have contact information of someone willing to take action? Does anyone have any ideas how?

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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:25 pm

Can anyone tell me: when does the Myna's chicks hatch? And what does a young myna look like - a photo would be nice?
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:36 pm

They breed from Oct to Dec here in Gauteng. They lay an average of 3.9 eggs and sometimes up to as much as 6.
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Re: The Indian Mynah problem... What is being done?

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:03 pm

:shock: Something needs to be done!!! ASAP!! They also have high success rates & not to many predators, so the population is really going to climb quickly!
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