As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Bird pest 'disaster' warning

AN incursion of Indian myna birds into Tasmania would be an "environmental disaster", says BirdLife Tasmania. 

Sightings of the bird – a serious pest on mainland Australia – have been reported in Devonport and Hobart near the Domain and slipyards. 

"The introduction and establishment of the myna is an ecological disaster," Birdlife Tasmania convenor Eric Woehler said. 

"This is a high priority, red-alert species and alarm bells would be ringing in State Government agencies. 

"They're an aggressive bird. They literally displace native birds. They gather in big flocks, they're very noisy and aggressive. 

"Where you have Indian mynas you don't have native birds. 

"They will chase other birds out, kill the chicks of other birds and eat their eggs." 

Over the past decade sightings had been made in the north, especially Devonport and its port area, and in those cases government officers have killed the birds and destroyed eggs. 

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Invasive Species Branch manager Craig Elliott said staff were continuing surveillance in the Hobart Regatta grounds area after a report last month of three birds. 

"The sighting has not been confirmed and the ISB is keen to hear from anyone who may have seen what they believe to be an Indian myna," Mr Elliott said.

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