Muscat: The total number of invasive birds that have been eliminated in Dhofar Governorate since the launch of the campaign by the Environment Authority (EA) on December 13, 2022 until February 25, 2023 reached 52,248, of which 15,739 were crows and 36,509 mynas.
Talib bin Ali Al Abri, Assistant Director General of the General Directorate of Environment in Dhofar Governorate and head of the sub-committee for the national campaign to combat invasive birds in the governorate, said: “The statistics of the field survey carried out by the Environment Authority in most of the governorates of the Sultanate of Oman and field observations proved that these birds are concentrated in coastal areas and are widely spread. In the governorates of North Al Batinah, South Al Batinah, and Muscat, all the way to Dhofar Governorate.”
The Environment Authority is making many efforts in the field of combating invasive birds due their spread in different regions of Oman, including the national campaign to combat invasive birds in Dhofar Governorate.
He added: The presence of these birds was observed in large numbers in coastal areas and neighbouring villages, in addition to their presence in agricultural areas and areas with high population density and in sites where ornamental plants abound such as gardens and natural parks and on roadsides and green spaces, indicating that a number of them were monitored in the governorates. Others are less and can control their numbers.
Regarding the impact of invasive birds, Al Abri said: “The myna bird is considered one of the most intrusive invasive birds affecting the ecosystem and the balance of its components by targeting the prey of some other species that feed on them, which causes an imbalance in the environmental balance, explaining that this type of bird is known for the diversity of feeding sources that it depends on. It includes the chicks of other birds and their eggs, reptiles, insects and rodents, in addition to agricultural crops, fruits and grains, which negatively affects the economic resources and sources of income in the Sultanate of Oman.”
He added: “Crows in turn, affects biodiversity and creates a kind of competition for prey with the myna bird and other local birds that feed on the same species, as the myna bird and the crow are fierce and aggressive birds, and fiercely defend their meals that they seize, which leads to damage to local species. , which do not find anything to feed on and thus lead to a decrease in their numbers and disruption of the elements of the food chain.
Al-Abri indicated that the main habitat of this type of bird is the regions located in South Asia, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of China, but because of its enormous and rapid ability to adapt and adapt to various climatic and geographical conditions, its spread has expanded to include many countries and continents.
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