Indian myna

Native to India, Asia and the Middle East, the Indian myna is a medium-sized bird with a yellow bill and brown and black feathers.

Indian mynas were first released in Australia in the 1860s to control pests in Victoria's market gardens. They did not achieve this goal, but thrived in local conditions, and are now abundant in suburban and agricultural regions along the east coast. Indian mynas aggressively compete with native animals for food and nesting resources.

The Indian myna is not a prohibited or restricted invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Acridotheres tristis

Other names

  • Common myna, mynah, talking myna

Similar species

Description

  • Medium-sized bird with body 23–26cm long, wing span 120–142mm, weight 82–143g.
  • Feathers are brown with glossy black head, neck, upper breast.
  • Bill is bright yellow, as are eye skin, legs, feet.
  • Wings have distinctive white patches visible in flight.

Habitat

  • Prefers warm to hot climates.
  • Lives in open habitats such as parks, gardens and cleared agricultural areas.

Distribution

  • Found throughout Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Can breed 1–3 times per year.
  • Average lifespan of 4 years in wild, possibly more than 12 years.

Crops affected

  • Fruit, vegetables and cereal crops.

Affected animals

  • Native animals
  • Native birds
  • Humans

Impacts

Environmental

  • Reduces breeding success of some native parrot species. Competes aggressively for nesting hollows and can break eggs, kill chicks, and evict native parrots from nest boxes or tree hollows.
  • Competes for tree hollows with other native wildlife (e.g. possums and gliders). Indian mynas can kill small mammals and remove sugar gliders from hollows.

Economic

  • Damages fruit, vegetables and cereal crops.
  • Spreads weeds such as lantana and fireweed.

Social

  • Potential reservoir for diseases such as avian malaria.
  • Large roosts and nests can cause noise, mess, potential allergies and fire hazards.
  • Can swoop and attack people.

Control

  • Plant native vegetation that is not attractive to this species.
  • Limit access to additional food such as pet food.
  • Reduce nesting sites by blocking access to gutters and removing exotic palms.
  • Remove nests and eggs.
  • Conduct coordinated trapping (e.g. through a community action group).

Legal requirements

  • The Indian myna is not a prohibited or restricted invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014. However, by law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control.
  • Local governments must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in their area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information