The common myna (Acridotheres tristis) is native to the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka, but has invaded (with human help) many islands in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic oceans – as well as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. In many Pacific islands, mynas are often the most common birds seen around towns and villages.
Mynas were first introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Hawai’i in the late 1800s and from there they have been spread to at least 40 other Pacific islands. The last known liberations were on Mangaia Island in the Cook Islands about 1960, and on Tutuila Island in American Samoa in the mid-1980s. In New Zealand, mynas are now common throughout the North Island north of a line between Wanganui and Waipukurau, and no attempt has been made or is being planned to control their populations.
Mangaia is the second largest and most southerly of the Cook Islands and is the oldest island in the Pacific. It has a central volcanic plateau and, like many of the southern islands in the Cooks, it is surrounded by a 60 m high ring of cliffs comprised of fossilised coral or makatea. The island has a population of around 600 people. In 1996 the common myna population on Mangaia Island was estimated at 8,000?10,000 birds with most found in arable areas of the island.
Relevant information can be found at the links below including:
Pacific Invasives Initiative project page
Feasibility study report, June 2006
Landcare Research (NZ) newsletter investigating management of Mynas in New Zealand (Kararehe Kino. Vertebrate Pest Research Newsletter, Issue 9 pp 1-3).
|Author||Pacific Invasives Initiative, John Parkes|