Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Investigating responses to control: a comparison of common myna behaviour across areas of high and low trapping pressure.

Abstract

Harvesting of wildlife by humans is commonly known to impact target species' demography, life history and behaviour. Yet in the context of invasive and pest species control, behavioural shifts have received very little attention. The introduced common myna, Acridotheres tristis, is undergoing intensive control efforts in some areas of its Australian distribution. In order to investigate whether myna populations respond to harvesting, we compared the behaviour of free-ranging common mynas in areas of high and low trapping pressure. Behavioural analyses revealed that mynas in high trapping risk areas stayed closer to refuges, tended to form smaller groups, and were overall less detectable. Behavioural differences between high and lowly trapped areas were not attributable to variation in population density. Overall, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that common mynas have the potential to adjust their behaviour in response to heightened anthropic risk in the environment. Behavioural shifts in invasive alien species could modify their ecological impact and may interfere not only with the effectiveness of control measures, but also with how their effectiveness is assessed. Future research should aim to isolate behavioural mechanisms underpinning compensatory responses to control so that any potential effects can be mitigated.