7 Mar 2006

Tokelau wants answers on how a major pest, the mynah bird, got to the remote atolls

8:01 pm on 7 March 2006

An invasive species expert for the Pacific, Bill Nagle, says mynah birds are becoming a major problem in the region.

The Pacific arm of the Invasive Species Specialist Group is working on projects in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa and French Polynesia.

Tokelau has asked the group to find out how mynah birds got to the atolls, thought to be about 18 months ago.

Bill Nagle says the bird is a real threat and needs to be brought under control quickly.

"They're chasing out endemic and native birds, taking over their nesting sites, robbing nests, eating eggs. They're chasing out young birds, eating insects that may be important for pollination, and they're also eating fruit. They'll eat anything."

Bill Nagle says people need to be aware that invasive species can spread very easily.