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

Kate Grarock, Christopher R. Tidemann, David B. Lindenmayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427–1440
Number of pages14
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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