Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 1427–1440 | Cite as

Understanding basic species population dynamics for effective control: a case study on community-led culling of the common myna (Acridotheres tristis)

  • Kate GrarockEmail author
  • Christopher R. Tidemann
  • Jeffrey T. Wood
  • David B. Lindenmayer
Original Paper


Population manipulation of introduced species can be difficult and many widespread eradication or reduction attempts have failed. Understanding the population dynamics of a species is essential for undertaking a successful control program. Despite this, control attempts are frequently undertaken with limited knowledge of the species population dynamics. For example, in Australia, concern over the impact of the introduced common myna (Acridotheres tristis) has led to community members culling the species. In this paper, we assessed the impact of community-led common myna culling program over broad and fine-scales in Canberra, Australia. We utilized a basic population model to enhance understanding of common myna population dynamics and the potential influence of various culling regimes. We found a significant negative relationship between common myna abundance and culling at fine-scales (1 km2). However, over broad-scales the relationship between common myna abundance and culling was not significant. Our population model indicated culling at a rate of 25 birds per km2 per year would reduce common myna abundance, regardless of initial density. Our results suggest that currently too few individuals are being removed from the Canberra population, and natural reproduction, survival and/or immigration is able to replace the culled individuals. This highlights the value of undertaking basic population modeling to assess if potential control measures are capable of achieving desired outcomes. Our work provides information for researchers, government and community groups interested in controlling not only the common myna, but also other introduced species.


Community management Compensatory mortality Doomed excess Doomed surplus Indian myna (Sturnus tristisPopulation model 



We thank the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group and Canberra Ornithologist Group for providing data for analysis. We thank volunteer bird observers, including: Barbara Allen, Heather Allsopp, Judith Bourne, John Brannan, Malcolm Fyfe, Bill Handke, Owen Holton, Anne I’Ons, Daryl King, Sue Lashko, Barbara Levings, Bruce Lindenmayer, Chris Marsh and Peter Ormay. We also thank Hamish Dalley, Sara Hanley and Simon Roz for their comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. Bird transect surveys were undertaken in accordance with animal ethics approval Protocol No. C.RE.51.08.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Grarock
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christopher R. Tidemann
    • 1
  • Jeffrey T. Wood
    • 1
  • David B. Lindenmayer
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Fenner School of Environment and SocietyThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Invasive Animals Cooperative Research CentreUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Department of EnvironmentNational Environmental Research ProgramCanberraAustralia
  4. 4.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental DecisionsCanberraAustralia

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