27 Jun 2006

Pest bird to be eliminated from Mangaia in southern Cooks

6:33 pm on 27 June 2006

Agreement has been reached on a plan to eliminate thousands of mynah birds on the island of Mangaia in the southern Cooks group.

The bird was introduced fifty years ago to control the coconut stick insect which was having a negative impact on the island's copra industry.

But Ian Karika of the environmental group, the Te Ipukarea Society, says the mynahs now number around four thousand and are threatening the survival of the Mangaia kingfisher.

He says the mynahs tend to roost as a community and the plan is to try and poison them at these sites.

"Of course, we have discovered, there are birds that do not go into the roost, so we will have to put out some traps for them and we will be doing those around the village or wherever we see numbers. The third will be looking at the next breeding season and we are using next traps and then probably shooting off the remainder."

Ian Karika of Te Ipukarea Society.