THE battle against the Indian myna bird - one of the world's 100 most invasive species - has been stepped up in Ballina Shire.
A new trapping program has started and residents are encouraged to get involved.
After receiving a grant from the State Government the council now has about 70 traps, which can be picked up from the council's nursery at Alstonville.
Natural resource extension officer James Brideson said the birds were introduced to Australia from southern Asia in the 1860s to control insects.
"But they are now classified as one of the most invasive animal species in the world," he said.
"That's because they threaten native birds and hollow-dwelling animals."
Nursery manager Paul Brown agreed, saying it was important to control the birds now before they became a major problem.
"In the cities you don't see any other birds apart from the Indian myna," he said.
"We don't want that to happen here.
"They're called the rats of the sky and they are really cunning.
"So we're telling people they have to be careful when setting the traps - you have to make them as inviting as possible.
"Food, water and shade will help.
"If an Indian myna likes the environment in the trap it will call to its mates to join it.
"Otherwise it will call to them and warn them to stay away."
The introduced Indian myna should not be confused with the native noisy myna.
Indian mynas can be easily identified by their black head, yellow beak and legs, chocolate brown body and white wing patch which is visible when they fly.
Noisy mynas are grey with a black patch around their eyes.
Nursery staff will provide advice on how to use the myna traps and how to humanely euthanase the birds once caught.
For more information call 6686 4444.
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