The Environment Authority (EA) held a meeting on Tuesday to address the problem of invasive birds in the sultanate.
In a statement, EA said, ‘The authority discussed the issue of invasive bird species in Oman with officials and representatives of relevant authorities. The meeting deliberated on intensifying efforts towards this end and limiting the damage caused by these birds.’
EA informed that invasive birds, such as the Indian jungle crow and mynah, are increasing in Oman. These birds cause widespread damage by destroying crops, eating bees and transmitting diseases, parasites and fleas to humans as well as animals.
In April, the authority formed a team to conduct a study on checking the spread of these birds and developing a national strategy. EA has on-boarded an international ornithologist and prepared an integrated plan to confront invasive bird species.
Mynahs, originating from India, China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Indonesia, belong to the starling family. These birds are 22-25cm long with wingspans of 36.5cm.
Mynahs affect the food chain in the areas of their existence. These birds attack other birds’ nests and kill the young ones. In 2000, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature declared the bird among ‘100 of the World’s Most Invasive Species’.
The Indian jungle crow (Corvus culminatus) is a species found across the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas.
It is an opportunist and generalist omnivore. It softens its food by dropping it in water and has also been observed to eat sand after feeding on meat from carcass. These birds have a range of cawing vocalisations.