Groups working to stamp out the spread of Indian mynas in the district are making progress.By Renee Thompson
Local groups fighting to reduce the spread of the Indian myna bird through trapping efforts are taking heart after a Canberra-based group reported a significant decline in the bird’s numbers.
The Canberra Indian Myna Action Group recently released figures suggesting Indian myna trapping efforts had resulted in the bird dropping from the third most abundant bird in suburban Canberra to the 20th.
Group president Bill Handke said his group, which began in 2006, was a model for many other groups around the country and had kept records to monitor their progress.
‘‘We have had 1522 members join with about 1400 traps in operation and, while not everyone sends data back, the records which have come back suggest we have trapped about 45,600 birds,’’ he said.
He said there was a noticeable decline in the bird’s presence in suburban Canberra as a result of the group’s work.
‘‘Whereas mynas used to be seen everywhere, it’s now a point of comment when people see them,’’ he said.
Goulburn Murray Myna Action Group chair Lindsay Muston said the results of the Canberra study were ‘‘absolutely’’ encouraging on a local level.
‘‘ I know it will get to a point where it will be a rarity to see a myna bird,’’ he said.
‘‘As a group, we need to keep spreading our wings. I expect it to take five, six years to get a handle on it.’’
The Goulburn Murray group began in February and works closely with the district’s Men’s Sheds to educate people about Indian myna traps.
Echuca-Moama Men’s Shed president Brian Hill said demand for traps was huge.
‘‘We’ve sold 20 to 30 of them (the traps) in the past two months,’’ he said.
‘‘(It was) bang. It just took off. They’re flying out the door as fast as we can make them.
‘‘On a good day, we make about four and sell about one a day on average.’’
Mr Muston said he was pleased to hear how well the Men’s Shed’s traps were selling.
‘‘Brian is up and going. Thirty traps (sold) over there is great,’’ he said.
The Goulburn Murray Myna Action group has set up a Facebook page with a spreadsheet to encourage people to get involved and enter data for record keeping purposes.
‘‘Once we’ve got our wings spread, we’ll be able to grow. It’s a huge project but I can feel we can make a difference, it’s coming
For information on Indian myna birds, visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Goulburn-Murray-Myna-Action-Group or the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group’s site at http://www.indianmynaaction.org.au/
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On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
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Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
A group of volunteers have worked to revitalise the Cobram motorcross track to improve safety and attract new members to the club.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
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