A CAMPAIGN to reduce the plague of Indian myna birds in the Far North has reached a milestone, with Federal MP for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, Cairns Rotary and the Cairns Men’s Shed celebrating the construction of the 500th myna bird trap this Thursday, 19 April.
In November, the Rotary Club of Cairns declared war on the Indian myna with more than 250 people attending a public meeting. They joined forces with Mr Entsch, a long-time campaigner to eradicate the pest, and the Cairns Men’s Shed, which took on the task of producing the metal traps.
Since then, orders have run hot for the $60 traps with local residents, businesses, schools and other organisations all wanting to play their part in helping the Far North’s precious wildlife.
The Cairns Remove Indian Mynas (CNSRIM) group is handling orders and tallying the figures and president Peter Goulding estimates that 10,000 mynas have now been caught and humanely killed.
Mr Entsch said the milestone was a fantastic achievement that would not have been possible without the combined efforts of Cairns Rotary, CNSRIM, the Men’s Shed and the local community.
“Indian mynas are responsible for decimating local birdlife, so by eradicating at least 10,000 of these pests since November it will give our Australian natives a chance to recuperate,” he said.
“And I’m incredibly pleased that the local community has really got behind this initiative they are the ones who have taken charge of their own schools and backyards, this is a wonderful outcome.”
Cairns Men’s Shed treasurer Eric Kershaw said the men were “thrilled to bits” with the project’s success, which went further than simply making the traps and getting rid of the birds.
“The Men’s Shed also serves to build up camaraderie between a group of guys who were total strangers before,” he explained. “It gives them an outlet to socialise, learn skills and be creative, and it also happens to be a great fundraiser.”
Mr Goulding also commended the members of the Men’s Shed for the hundreds of hours they had spent building the traps in an effort to keep up with demand.
“These are people from all walks of life, some of them have practical backgrounds, but you can see when you’re there just why the Men’s Shed concept is so valuable,” he added.
Anyone interested in finding out more about eradicating Indian mynas can visit www.cnsrim.org.au. To order a trap, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and telephone number. Please note there is currently a one month waiting period for orders.