Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Shawwal 20, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Time to tackle myna menace

Invasive bird species threatens ecology, biodiversity and food security of the Sultanate
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An explosion in myna bird population may cause extinction of other bird species, and destroy fruits and vegetable crops, cautioned biodiversity experts in the Sultanate. They pointed out that the bird is the reason why the Dhofar governorate recently saw a surge of locust swarms. The myna eliminated or displaced many predator birds that had kept these insects in control.


Biodiversity specialists term it as ecological imbalance.“Some living organisms may not be important in the event of their extinction as they may not be among the main species whose absence affects the ecosystem, but there are other types that may be major and their absence leads to the collapse of the ecosystem, and this is what worries us...The numbers of myna birds multiply in several places in the world. We have to protect biodiversity by taking appropriate measures to limit the spread of these birds to restore balance. It is time to prepare a plan to combat exotic and invasive birds in the Sultanate,” an Omani environmentalist said.



We have to protect biodiversity by taking appropriate measures to limit the spread of these birds to restore the balance. It is time to prepare a plan to combat exotic and invasive birds in the Sultanate


Environmentalist



In the Sultanate, the Myna has eliminated the local crow whose numbers decreased significantly after it attacked its nests and devoured the eggs.


Myna is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world and it is common across many governorates of the Sultanate.


These birds also contribute to increasing noise levels because of their annoying and loud sound because they live in groups, and they are disease-carrying birds. Researchers indicate that “the myna threatens biodiversity due to its rapid reproduction, where its numbers may reach 160,000 birds, to then compete with endemic birds for habitat and food. Its habitat, nests and places of residence lead to its gradual disappearance to its extinction”.


“These birds also attack mammals such as goats, lambs and calves to transmit diseases classified as contagious to humans. The Myna bird travels daily at a distance of 20 km from its nesting place to the availability and availability of food, and in some cases, it attacks the pigeon and the human being in some countries,” researchers found.



Recent studies have revealed that the introduction of one species of predator into a habitat other than its original habitat, can lead to a series of cascading ecological changes, including affecting the numbers of other organisms, their reproductive system, and the biomass of the original species.


Moreover, environmental studies indicate that there are many ways in which non-native bird species can invade different areas, either naturally or by human transmission by deliberate import. Also, there are some birds that are forced to escape or are released from retailers and then breed in small groups, and their numbers increase over time.


These birds love to feed on grain, bread and potatoes, and they drink a lot of water. The chocolate brown bird has a black head and distinctive yellow beak, eye patch and legs.


The age of this bird is more than 25 years, and when breeding, the female lays 2-3 eggs of pale turquoise color with brown spots, and the incubation period of eggs is from 16-17 days, the young leave the nest after 20 days from hatching.


Specialists in biodiversity in the Sultanate said that competition for habitats will have a very big impact in the future when the numbers of this invasive species of birds increase, as they carry a number of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. These birds can replace local endemic birds with time, based on the law of "natural selection and survival of the fittest”.


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