Indian Myna Bird Targeted Control Programme – Lane Cove Council Update

    On 31 March 2023 a Lane Cove Chat member posted a picture of an Indian Myna bird in a trap located on top of one of The Canopy’s Restaurants.  The Lane Cove Chat member was not sure who had placed the trap on the roof and why traps were being used to control Indian Myna birds in The Canopy.

    The Canopy is owned and operated by Lane Cove Council, and they make all the decisions about where and how they undertake a targeted Indian Myna control program.

    Questions were raised on Lane Cove Chat about animal welfare and if the Indian Myna bird was suffering.  A concerned resident told ITC they contacted WIRES to report the trap and made direct contact with a local wildlife animal rescuer.

    One local involved in animal rescue advised ITC she visited The Canopy to inspect the bird’s welfare.  She then contacted Lane Cove Council and gave her feedback on the trap. She also wrote to the Lane Cove Council and advised the following:

    “I assessed the trap this morning,d and it appears to be Indian Myna trap with either a decoy bird or a catch.

    I completely understand and agree with your decision to cull the Myna’s. However, I am concerned about the location.  It appears to be sitting on a tin roof, alongside a tin wall facing north with no sun protection.  This will distress any bird captured and in turn stop any other Myna’s entering the trap.  Also is it visible from the children’s play area, which will cause concern to those that see it.”  [ITC note LCC said the wall was brick]

    ITC contacted the Lane Cove Council and asked them to explain the rationale behind the Indian Myna Bird Targeted Control Programme.

    A Lane Cove Council spokesperson advised:

    “Indian Myna Birds are an invasive species. They are territorial and highly aggressive birds who compete with and displace native wildlife for habitat areas. They take over tree hollows and plug up nest sites they are not using, forcing possums and birds out and ejecting nestlings and eggs from their nests. They also compete with native fauna for food and habitat.

    The birds have been a nuisance to diners and visitors at The Canopy.

    Our targeted control programs have previously included baiting and trapping. Our contractors trapped birds on the roof of Sunset Diner at The Canopy over two weeks. These traps were monitored remotely by camera and the birds were removed within 24 hours of capture. The contractors take great care not to trap or bait any native birds. After two weeks of having the traps in place, only two birds were caught, so the traps were removed on Monday (3 April).  We will now consider other options.

    We understand the community’s concern with animal welfare and always ensure that we adhere to animal welfare protocols. The contractors follow a trapping process which is humane and ensures that any trapped birds have food and water.

    Protocol on Animal Welfare

    Indian Myna Bird Information

    RSPCA’s Statement on Indian Myna Birds

    The RSPCA has the following statement on their website about the Indian Myna Bird:

    “RSPCA Australia recognises that in certain circumstances it is necessary to control populations of pest animals to reduce their adverse impact on the environment. However, in the case of common mynas there is not general agreement about the need for culling. We believe that—based on current knowledge about the impact and preferred habitat of common mynas—trapping and killing by community groups should not be encouraged. Rather, in agreement with several experts on this issue, efforts to enhance bird diversity in urbanised areas would be better directed to improving the quality of natural habitat. If, however, trapping and killing is to be conducted, the RSPCA believes that it should only be carried out as part of a government-supervised control program, which includes clear guidelines on humane procedures. We would also encourage that monitoring and assessment of any control programs be undertaken to provide information on any effects of culling on myna bird impacts, not just on myna bird numbers.

    For further information read the RSPCA Information Paper on management of common myna birds attached.”

    Indian Myna Control Handbook

    The Indian Myna Control Handbook produced by the Border Ranges and Richmond Valley Landcare Network (produced with funding from North Coast Local Land Services) sets out the following guidelines for trapping birds in a cage like the one used by Lane Cove Council.

    Edited for Border Ranges and Richmond Valley Landcare Network Indian Myna control
    project by Mark Ambrose.
    Based on “Indian Myna Handbook” by Alana Parkins further amended by Laura and
    Kevin Noble.
    Produced with funding from North Coast Local Land Services

    Prior Indian Myna Bird Issues in Lane Cove Plaza and The Canopy

    This is not the first time ITC has asked Lane Cove Council about their Indian Myna Bird Targeted Control Programme. In 2022 Lane Cove Council advised they were using an oral application bait.

    Below is an extract from our 4 March 2022 Week in Review:

    “On Friday 4 March 2022, ITC was advised by several residents that there were sick and dying Indian Myna Birds in the Lane Cove Plaza.  We took a photo of a dead bird and a very sick bird and sent the photos to Lane Cove Council to investigate why so many birds were dying.  The Lane Cove Council advised:

    “Following on from your enquiry yesterday, just confirming that if someone notices a deceased bird in the Plaza they can call 9911 3555 and staff will be able to alert someone to come and collect/dispose of as soon as possible.

    Council is conducting a targeted control program for rodents and Indian Myna birds at The Canopy with plans to commence a program for Indian Myna birds in the Plaza later this month. In addition to competing with native wildlife, the Indian Myna birds spread disease, as well as degrade public areas and damage buildings with their droppings.

    Our contractor has confirmed it is highly unlikely that there is a connection with yesterday’s birds in the Plaza and our current program in The Canopy given the targeted process; the bait used is an oral application; and the bait has almost instant effects. They were not baiting yesterday.

    If anyone has concerns that someone is conducting unauthorised baiting or causing harm to birds then the RSPCA is likely the best place to report as they have the authority on matters related to animal welfare.”

    In October 2019, ITC reported the following:

    “On Friday around Midday, ITC was inundated with people telling us that Myna Birds were falling out of trees in the Lane Cove Plaza.  Several people had already called the Lane Cove Council, WIRES and Sydney Wildlife.  WIRES and Sydney Wildlife only rescue native animals.  ….   Lane Cove Council is trying to establish the reason why the birds were falling out of the trees/dying.”

    Further information on Lane Cove Council’s approach to Indian Myna Birds is here.


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