A GROUP of Tamworth birdwatchers will hold a workshop on Saturday, April 2, aiming to emulate the success of a feral bird eradication project in Canberra and entice locals to take up trapping.
Inspired by the success of Bill Handke's Canberra Indian Myna Action Group (CIMAG), which in 10 years has made a marked impact on the birds' prevalence in the nation's capital, the group hopes to inspire people in the North West and New England to join their project.
The group will host a workshop where members will demonstrate the easiest way to construct cages to trap Indian mynas, starlings and blackbirds and how to humanely despatch the birds.
"When Bill Handke formed his group in Canberra in 2006, the Indian myna was the third most abundant bird seen in the area," group spokeswoman Jean Coady said.
"Canberra garden bird surveys have revealed an annual drop in numbers of the Indian myna and it is now the 13th most abundant bird in Canberra.
"I think that example truly shows that concerted community action can have a major environmental benefit."
Mrs Coady said the Tamworth group had been working on this project for a number of years, but it would only see a significant change when more people became aware of these aerial pests and started doing something to stop them.
"The Canberra group was formed without any initial government funding and established a presence and public profile through a public awareness campaign," she said.
"They also developed a network with key community and government stakeholders, in particular, the RSPCA and environment officers of the ACT government, university researchers and conservation-minded community groups.
"They discovered public credibility was a key to public acceptance and cleverly stacked their committee with high-profile environmentalists.
"They certainly managed to get the word out to local media, but while public education is important to community understanding and group recruitment, the practical control activity involved a humane trapping program that could be done in people's backyards.
"That's why we're keen to show how easy it is to make and use these feral bird traps."
Mrs Coady said another workshop would be conducted in Tamworth on Tuesday, May 3.
Today's workshop will be held at the home of Tamworth Birdwatchers member Eric Fair, at Fairs Rd, off Appleby Ln, at Bective. Those people wishing to attend should phone Mr Fair on 6769 7525.