Dec 30, 2014 by Julian Cribb
Small Australian native birds are losing food and home to a growing flock of rivals, including native birds arriving from other states, invasive alien birds and those that thrive in urban areas, environmental scientists have warned.
In addition to targeting high profile pest birds such as the Indian myna, Australia should expand its lines of defence against a wide range of aggressive alien birds and native "urban exploiters", says Associate Professor Salit Kark of the National Environmental Research Program's Environmental Decisions Hub (NERP's EDH) and The University of Queensland.
"Alien invasive birds compete with native birds for food and nesting sites, and they often win because they're larger, more aggressive and in some cases can adapt to new environments better," says Assoc. Prof. Kark. "Some of these pests can also spread disease and have been shown to damage vineyards and food crops in other countries, affecting the local agriculture and economy."