These three species of mynas have spread from their native territories into new lands, playing a sort of ecological musical chairs.
The Javan myna was originally from Indonesia, but is endangered there because they have been overhunted as pets. But it is thriving in Singapore, where it was first introduced in 1936 as a pet. Later, they were released by Buddhists practising “prayer release” or “merit release” of captive birds into the wild. Now the birds roost in the thousands in trees in the city and have become a source of noise pollution. They threaten the common myna, which is native to Singapore.
Both the Javan myna and common myna have also been introduced in Taiwan. The competition of these invasive mynas may have caused a decline in the native crested myna in Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan’s native crested myna successfully invaded Canada in the 1920s (it was also introduced to Canada as a songbird) but has recently died out due to competition from another invasive species, the European starlings.