Andrew Burton and the tree where Indian mynas have nested.
Andrew Burton and the tree where Indian mynas have nested. Cathy Adams

Ballina slow on invasion of pest

THE Indian myna is one of the worst pests in Australia, but Ballina Shire Council doesn’t yet have a plan to control the birds.

This has got Ballina resident Andrew Burton worried.

He recently noticed a pair breeding in a tree hollow at the canal end of Fox Street, but when he rang to notify the council, he was told there was nothing they could do.

“I walk my dog along here about five times a week,” he said.

“I heard the mynas squawk and I thought, ‘here we go’. I used to live in the southern highlands, where they are in plague proportions, so I know they can really take over.”

Indian mynas were introduced in the late 1860s to control insects.

But they are now classified as one of the most invasive animal species in the world because they threaten native birds and hollow-dwelling animals.

The council’s open spaces and reserves manager, Jillian Pratten, said they were in the process of developing an Indian myna control plan.

“We have just been notified that we received a grant of $8700 from the Department of Lands to help with the program.

“We are hoping to put in place a system where the public can hire out traps.

“But we have a sticking point at the moment because the RSPCA aren’t happy with the euthanasing arrangements.”



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