Pest animals

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The changes to our natural habitat has allowed some introduced animal species into our urban environment. Some animals are considered pests because they compete with native species for food and habitat, including our domestic pets because they will eat small native lizards and birds, or at least disrupt the behaviour of the native critters in our streets, parks and reserves.

Foxes

Introduced foxes are a declared pest in NSW, and are causingincreasing problems throughout Sydney. Fifteen southern Sydney Councils havecome together to develop a regional and coordinated approach to fox managementto address these problems.

Over 20160 and 2017 the project will study the behaviour of urban foxes, engagelocal communities and map the distribution of foxes in southern Sydney enablingfox control to be undertaken at strategic locations.

To reduce the impacts of foxes, we encourage you to record and map sightings offoxes and fox impacts in your local area in FoxScan.

Domestic pets

Many domestic cats and dogs were observed by the Australian Museum during the 2010 biodiversity Survey. Cats and dogs, both domestic and feral, pose a serious threat to our native animals. Native wildlife can be attacked by domestic pets that are allowed to roam free, especially at night. As a responsible pet owner, you can reduce the number of native animals killed in your area and maintain the health of your pet by following these simple guidelines:

Indian Myna Birds

The Common or Indian Myna Bird was introduced into Melbourne in 1862 to control insect pests in market gardens, and then to the sugar cane fields in north east Queensland in 1883. Indian Mynas have since become a very successful invader of both our natural and urban environments.

Myna Bird

What does an Indian Myna bird look like?

The common or Indian Myna is a small bird, approximately 12cm tall, a chocolate brown colourerd body with a black head. The pest species shows large white wing patches in flight.

(Photoghraph by Andrew Tatnell)

The Myna BirdSimilar species - the Noisy Miner

The Indian Myna bird is often mistaken for the native bird, the Noisy Miner. Both birds have yellow legs, beaks and bare eye skin.

The native species is slightly larger in size, 24-29cm and mostly grey in colour. Noisy Miners are protected and must be released if trapped.

(Photograph R Major Australian Museum)

 

Habitat

The Common Indian Myna is closely associated with human habitation. In the evening, large groups of Common Mynas gather in communal roosts, mainly in the non-breeding season, in roof voids, bridges, and large trees

Feeding

Common Indian Mynas are accomplished scavengers, feeding on almost anything, including insects, fruits and vegetables, scraps, pets' food and even fledgling sparrows.

Why are they considered a pest?

Common Indian Mynas are considered pests in many parts of the world, and are one of 3 bird species that are on the top 100 of the world’s most invasive species. In Australia, these birds breed very successfully and hundreds of birds can gather at a single roost.

They compete aggressively with native birds and small mammals for food and nesting sites and can damage fruit trees.

In urban areas they can spread mites and have the potential to spread disease. They reduce the amenity of public areas through excessive noise and bird droppings.

What can you do about the problem?

There are many ways in which residents can help to keep the numbers of Indian Mynas down in our urban environment.

  • Watch what food is left out in your garden
  • Mynas will eat pet food – remove this food after your pet has finished or feed your pet indoors
  • The same applies to water left out for your pet
  • Plant native plants in your garden, especially species that are local to the eastern suburbs area – this will attract more native birds to your garden and lessen the impact of Indian Mynas
  • Plant a dense native shrub layer and reduce lawn areas
  • Do not plant palm and pine trees - instead, try native plant species
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