Views

Killing mynahs not the solution to noise problem

More effective solution will come after we know why mynahs choose to settle in Potong Pasir

I read with concern the recent news report about how mynahs were captured and killed in Potong Pasir for making what someone described as "a lot of noise".

But such a measure will only solve the "problem" for a few days. Other mynahs will swoop in, having had their competition conveniently eliminated by us.

The real cause of the problem will still exist.

Surely the only permanent fix here is to get to the root of why the birds have decided to settle in the area.

Obviously, birds need food, water and shelter.

In the case of mynahs, food may come in the form of litter dropped by people.

So, if it turns out that public littering is the cause of the mynahs' presence, it would be more logical and cost-effective to eliminate the cause.

Deal with the real cause of the problem, and it will cease to exist.

Once littering stops, there is no reason for the mynahs to stick around - they would simply fly off to more "productive pastures" .

I am not a biologist, but even with the many lush leafy trees around, I am sure mynahs would not remain in an area where there are no easily available food sources.

Tackling public littering will not only alleviate the mynah issue, it will also promote cleanliness and hygiene, and probably also reduce any rat population. And as I said, it is also cost-effective.

One wonders about the cost of equipment rental and engaging the pest control company to erect the giant net and the removal and disposal of the carcasses of the mynahs.

Imagine doing that every time a complaint is received.

Another issue I would like to highlight is whether the residents in the area had been consulted on the matter before the decision to kill the birds had been made.

I understand that there were some complaints, but what about the "silent majority"?

Was there a survey or online poll done among the residents to consult them before such drastic action was taken?

GIVE THEM A SAY

After all, they are the ones on the ground and it is their neighbourhood, so the authorities concerned should have considered giving them a say in the decision before taking any sort of action.

Maybe some residents would not have wanted such drastic action to be taken, preferring a more efficient and compassionate method of dealing with the issue.

If the residents feel such drastic action is required, then it should be the way to go (I would be against such action in my own estate).

Of course, the mynahs' calls in the early morning are not the most ideal sounds to wake up to and too many within a concentrated area is also not hygienic.

But in the universal scheme of things, the solution might not have been the short-term action taken that resulted in the death of birds that were only behaving naturally, with no malice intended on any humans.

In any case, action has been taken and I am not laying blame or hitting out at anyone.

I would just like to propose that research be done over why mynahs congregate in specific areas, which will bring about a more effective and long-term solution - one that is compassionate to both animals and humans.

The contributor is a freelance writer.

Environment