Residents of Tweed and Byron shires have trapped more than 2000 feral Indian Myna birds in the past 20 months.

Myna Control Project Officer for the two councils, Pamela Gray, said the result was testament to the increasing trapping skills and dedication of the community.

In appreciation for the ongoing trapping efforts of community members involved in the Indian Myna Control program, Tweed Council has a Top Trapper Award which is presented to two trappers each quarter.

This award has two categories – Rural and Urban – and is presented to the trapper within each category who has trapped the most Indian Mynas.

“These worthy trappers are presented with a Top Trapper certificate, and their choice of a voucher to claim native garden plants from Tweed Shire Council nursery, or an Australian Bird Identification handbook,” Ms Gray said.

The December-February Top Trapper for urban areas is Rob of Banora Point, with a total of 32 Indian Mynas trapped for the period. The December-February Top Trapper for rural areas is Belinda of Condong Creek, with 39 Indian Mynas trapped for the period.

“Tweed Shire Council would like to pass on its thanks to all community members involved in theIndian Myna Control Program for their important contribution to the conservation of our native birds and animals,” Ms Gray said.

The Indian Myna (also known as the Common Myna or House Myna) is a recent invader to Tweed and Byron Shires and populations of the bird are growing in number at an alarmingly rapid rate.

Indian Mynas evict animals and birds from their nests, attack chicks of other species and breed in tree hollows rendering them unusable by other wildlife.

The Indian Myna Control Project provides education, co-ordination support and traps to local communities in northern NSW to help combat the Indian Myna bird invasion. The Project Officer position is funded through a grant from the NSW Environmental Trust plus additional funding through Land and Property Management Authority.

Indian Mynas are not to be confused with the native Noisy Miner. The key difference between the two birds is that the Indian Myna has a chocolate-brown coloured body with a black head, while the Noisy Miner is mottled grey and white.

Anyone wanting to join in the ongoing effort to control Indian Mynas can contact Pamela Gray on (02) 6670 2778 or email indianmyna@tweed.nsw.gov.au

More information on Indian Mynas is available on Council’s website www.tweed.nsw.gov.au

PICTURE: Keen trapper Andrew Preston of South Murwillumbah with one of the Indian Myna traps.