|Common or Indian Myna|
The forest on Denis Island contains many indigenous tree species providing ideal habitat for several of Seychelles endemic birds that were reintroduced within the past decade. On Denis Island Common Mynas are believed to
interfere with nesting Seychelles Magpie Robins and to compete with them for nest sites. During her PhD study on Seychelles Warblers, Jildou van der Woude (pers comms) discovered that about 25% of the warblers she caught on Denis Island had serious head wounds and her subsequent studies gave strong indication that these were caused by Common Myna attacks. Mynas have also been seen predating on Seychelles Flycatcher eggs. In 2010 a decision was made to eradicate Common Mynas from Denis island.
|Seychelles Magpie Robin|
|Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher|
Trapping commenced in May 2010. 15 decoy traps consisting of mesh traps were constructed with assistance from the Denis Island workshop. The traps with a live decoy Myna bird in the middle compartment were found to be very effective. By April 2011, 917 Myna birds had been removed from the island – estimated to be 90% of the total population. The project had to be halted after this time due to staff constraints and afterwards the number of Myna birds increased rapidly from +/- 78 individuals to an estimated 200-300 birds in 2013.
|The so called King Mynas lack feathers on their head|
Despite many minor setbacks, the team is confident that this project will be successful in the end and will give the endemic birds a better chance to thrive on Denis Island.