War on myna birds off to flying start
DEMAND for Indian myna bird traps is outstripping supply as hundreds of Far Northern residents take part in a mass eradication program.
As the campaign to rid the region of the pest bird steps up, the makers of the cages are working four days week.
Cairns Rotary Remove Indian Mynas president Peter Goulding said since the launch in November last year about 3000 birds had been caught and euthanised.
"That’s a conservative figure, it’s probably more but we are going on the tally sheets that have been provided," he said.
Cairns has one of the highest populations of mynas in Australia, about 1000 per square kilometre, compared with the 300 that plagued Canberra.
A successful program eradicated the bird from Canberra and Queanbeyan, getting rid of 70,000 in three years.
Mr Goulding said the problem was worse at Atherton and
"The broad public support that was shown for the campaign in November last year gave Cairns Rotary and its supporters the encouragement to establish the structure and resource base for a long-term campaign against the dreaded myna," he said.
Up to 12 men a day are building the cages at the Men’s Shed at Mooroobool.
Ron Moon, of the Cairns Men’s Shed, said they had built and sold 225 cages and had orders for 40 more of the $60 devices.
Mr Moon said each cage took about eight hours to build.
He believed the numbers being caught were conservative.
"Three of us have caught 1500 of the birds, others have caught between 50 and 60."
Mr Goulding said tally sheets were included with each cage as well as instructions on how to trap and humanely euthanise the birds caught.
He said an incorporated association had been formally established to take the campaign to the next level.
"We have expenses to meet and need a small income source," Mr Goulding said.
He said the association would invite paid membership for a nominal fee.
"We are currently constructing a website which will hold all the practical data needed to ensure that our campaign is a success," Mr Goulding said.
He said the association needed help and required a secretary and a treasurer and more field volunteers.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Keeping busy: Mooroobool Men's Shed workers Warren Evans and Tom Ryan put the finishing touches to a myna birds trap which will be deployed in Cairns to help get rid of the pests. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS