common myna

This document builds on lessons learned from 10 years of DEC-MNRE action on the myna issue, training workshops on invasive species management, a 2015 myna population transect survey (conservative estimate of total population in Samoa between 129,407 and 188,583 birds), appropriate literature and experiences in Pacific and other countries. Recommendations are made on strategies and the priority information needed to implement those strategies.

Despite the presence of invasive black rats (Rattus rattus), common mynas (Acridotheres tristis), and feral domestic cats (Felis catus), sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) breed in large numbers on Ascension Island in the tropical South Atlantic Ocean. These introduced predators impact the terns by destroying eggs or interrupting incubation (mynas), eating eggs (mynas and rats), eating chicks (rats and cats), or eating adults (cats). Between 1990 and 2015, 26 censuses of sooty terns and five of mynas were completed and myna predation was monitored on 10 occasions.

Invasive plants and animals inflict much damage on native species and this is particularly the case on isolated oceanic islands with high degrees of endemism. Such islands commonly are important refugia for species of high conservation value. Some of the most pervasive and potent of invasive animal species are birds of the myna (Acridotheres) and bulbul (Pycnonotus) genera that historically were introduced to isolated islands as biological control agents for the management of insect pest species that can cause considerable economic damage to agricultural crops and wider ecosystems.