Invasive Alien Bird Species

The Common Myna Acridotheres tristis, previously known as the Indian Myna, is an invasive avian species currently spreading widely across Zimbabwe. Mynas are smart and gregarious starlings that originate from the Indian subcontinent. In Africa, the species was first introduced in Durban, South Africa, in the late 1800s and has invaded much of South Africa since then. Over the past decade, it has travelled north into Zimbabwe and the number of sightings has steadily increased. Today, in major cities like Harare and Bulawayo, there is concern at the rate at which the Myna population seems to be growing. Roosts of hundreds of Mynas have been identified. Research is necessary to verify whether the perception that they aggressively take over nests belonging to other indigenous bird species with similar breeding habits actually occurs.

The Matabeleland Youth Conservation Society, an affiliate of BirdLife Zimbabwe, has undertaken to conduct research on this species. A means of consolidating sightings to answer a few questions about the range expansion of this species in Zimbabwe has been set up.

A cause has been set up on the BirdLasser application (which collects data for the Southern African Bird Atlassing Project 2). In order to participate, Atlassers are asked to access the Causes menu and consent to sharing their atlassing and birding trip cards with the Myna monitoring project. When logging sightings, please spare a few minutes to fill out as much information on the sighting as you can. Please log the number of individuals, location descriptions, activity and other species around and notable interactions with them if there are any. For any questions on the study, please email: Merlyn Nkomo at:

Keeping Common Birds Common