12 Jul 2004

Samoa makes fresh efforts to control Myna birds

9:37 am on 12 July 2004

Samoan authorities have renewed efforts to control two species of Myna birds which are threatening native wildlife and crops.

The new campaign, which is supported by the local Animal Protection Society, involves the introduction of an Australian-designed trap at a plantation on Upolu Island.

The Myna Bird Control Working Group says total eradication of the jungle myna and the common myna is not feasible because myna numbers are so high.

Mynas have taken over the pulu trees of Apia annoying business owners and pedestrians with deafening noise at sunset.

The working group says they are aggressive and territorial birds which bully native species.

They also threaten biodiversity by competing for nesting sites and food as well as stealing eggs and preying on the chicks of other birds.

They are also becoming a growing problem for farmers ... attacking banana and pawpaw crops.

The jungle myna was introduced in 1965, the common variety in 1988, both to control pests.