19 February 2003
What has the European Fox, rabbit, Serrated
Tussock and Bone Seed have in common. All are introduced species
on the Surf Coast that have become environmental weeds/pest
animals. All have taken thier toll on the areas biodiversity
and all are costing rate payers a great deal of time, physical
effort and money in conrol measures.
Unfortunately the Surf Coast can add one new
bird species to this list of environmental disasters. They
have finally arrived. Two Common Mynas, previously refered
to as Indian Mynas, have taken up residence in Anglesea to
the future detriment of other native bird species.
The single pair have been observed on numerous
occassions on the corner of Murray Road and the Great Ocean
Road and in front of the Anglesea Surf Club during the past
The introduction of the Common Myna occurred in south eastern
Australia in1863 when 42 birds were released in Melbourne.
Today it is one of the most common birds in urban environments
in eastern Australia.
Originally from Afghanistan and India, eastward
to southern China, it is thought the birds were released in
Australia to combat agricultural pests. It was not till the
1950's that the first mynas were observed in Geelong. By the
1960's the Common Myna reached Queenscliff.
The aggressive nature of this bird, together with its need
to utilize up to nine nest hollows per breeding pair, is a
major cause of concern. Common Mynas have been known to throw
Crimson Rosella eggs out of a hollow in order to claim it
as their own territory.
Parts of the Surf Coast Shire have had the unique distinction
of being Common Myna free. In particular, coastal areas west
of Bellbrae to eastern Lorne. However without intervention,
Common Mynas will eventually arrive to all parts of the Surf
The spread of the Common Myna into further regions
of the Shire is sure to have a detrimental effect on local
birdlife, in particular those species that nest in hollows
such as parrots, cockatoos and kookaburras to name but a few.
The Common Myna is a distinctive bird that cannot be confused
with any native species. It has a trademark black, hangman
type hood, bright yellow beak, legs and eye ring and overall
brown body. When in fight, several white wing feathers are
Imagine you were observing two rabbits on a lawn in Anglesea.
Imagine that these were the only rabbits in Australia. What
would happen? With hindsight, all priorities and efforts would
go into their control to prevent the environmental disaster
they have unfortunately already caused.
You can help control the spread of this Cane
toad with Wings by reporting any sightings in the Anglesea
and Aireys Inlet area to the Surf Coast Shire. This will allow
us to determine their present range within the Shire and provide
valuable information in controlling their spread into areas
that they are not yet found.
Information required includes:
· Date and time observed
· Number of individual birds
· Exact location
If we can act quickly, it may be possible to
keep Anglesea and the surrounding area Myna Free and prevent
yet another environmental disaster from occurring. If you
have seen the two Mynas descibed above, please contact the
Surf Coast Shires' Common Myna Hotline ASAP.
ENVAC (Environmental Advisory Committee member for the Surf
Environmental Education Coordinator, Torquay Primary School