17 Jul 2012

Invasive bird species threatening native birds in Pacific

2:13 pm on 17 July 2012

A regional workshop in Samoa is looking at ways to address the spread of invasive bird species that according to organisers are threatening native birds in the Pacific.

It's being led by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, from Jersey, a British Channel Island, in collaboration with Samoa's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The Trust's Jamie Copsey says the common mynah bird is the main focus of the workshop and says they have spread to many countries of the South Pacific, through flight or on ships in cargo.

Mr Copsey says it's hard to quantify the damage they cause but says there's growing evidence that they are a threat to native birds.

"When you have threatened species when you've only got a few left, every single one counts, so if you've got some introduced species, the Myna's for example, that is attacking them, making them using up energy just defending themselves when they should be thinking about breeding, then that sort of thing can have an impact."

Jamie Copsey says the key is to stop invasive birds spreading to other countries and outer islands, by tightening control around ports of entry.