April 26, 2016 8:00pm
Nick Dalton The Cairns Post
MORE than 38,000 myna birds have been culled in Cairns in less than five years as a campaign now moves to scientific research.
The research may discover a biological way to rid the environment of the pest.
Meanwhile, Cairns Remove Indian Mynas president Peter Goulding said James Cook University wanted some dead mynas for further research.
“JCU has asked us to supply 75 frozen birds for their science department, which we are seeking to do. However, we have just 12 days to get the birds they need,” he said.
A JCU spokeswoman said the university would consider using the birds to teach vertebrate anatomy and physiology.
“The university is working with the Men’s Shed to ensure the birds are being humanely euthanised as part of a broader program,” she said.
Mr Goulding said there were several research projects under way at universities.
“It is hoped that a biological solution may be found,” he said.
“However, there is no guarantee of this and we need to keep trapping to protect our diverse native wildlife.”
Mr Goulding said the latest data was “stunning,” with 1572 traps sold and 38,157 mynas culled.
“We have been working hard on our database and were pleased to be able to confirm the cull figures we suspected we had achieved,” he said.
“The community effort to date has been phenomenal.
“However, we cannot ease off now, especially as we are winning the battle.”
Mr Goulding said Men’s Shed members could teach people how to become effective trappers.
“If they don’t wish to euthanise the caught birds, most veterinarians will do it free of charge,” he said,.
“We are having a big impact in the India myna population.
“Surveys show that numbers have fallen at Cairns Airport and anecdotal evidence indicates significant reductions in many Cairns suburbs.
“Native birds are returning.”