Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Eradication and control programmes for invasive mynas (Acridotheres spp.) and bulbuls (Pycnonotus spp.): defining best practice in managing invasive bird populations on oceanic islands.

Abstract

Invasive plants and animals inflict much damage on native species and this is particularly the case on isolated oceanic islands with high degrees of endemism. Such islands commonly are important refugia for species of high conservation value. Some of the most pervasive and potent of invasive animal species are birds of the myna (Acridotheres) and bulbul (Pycnonotus) genera that historically were introduced to isolated islands as biological control agents for the management of insect pest species that can cause considerable economic damage to agricultural crops and wider ecosystems. In this paper we consider a number of 'successful' eradication and control programmes targeting mynas and bulbuls. We review the locations and taxa where 17 such programmes took place and report that the common myna(Acridotheres tristis) has been the most heavily targeted species in eradication efforts followed by the red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus). Common mynas were also at the focus of control programmes as were jungle mynas (Acridotheres fuscus) and red-vented bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer). By far the most favoured method of eradication and control was trapping whereas mist-netting was employed rarely. We discuss 'best practice' in planning and executing such eradication and control programmes on oceanic islands so as to maximise their benefits to local human communities. We outline measures that must be adopted pre-, during and post-intervention in both programme types. They include adequate resourcing, local engagement and the integration of both traditional ecological knowledge and established conservation theory.