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1 document found tagged crop pests [X]
  • Title
    The diet of Indian Eagle Owl Bubo bengalensis and its agronomic significance
    Type
    Journal Article
    Description
    If the importance of wildlife in agricultural pest control through predation can be conveyed, it can play an important role in the conservation of wildlife. However, such a strategy needs to be backed with convincing data. We studied the habitat preference, diet and reproductive behavior of the Indian Eagle Owl (IEO) Bubo bengalensis in order to understand its role in agricultural pest control. The Owls preferred landscapes with a higher percentage of agriculture and fed on rodents, birds, reptiles, arachnids, insects and other prey species. Despite being a generalist feeder, its diet was dominated by agricultural pests, which contributed 88% of the total prey biomass. Out of the 13 rodent prey species, which comprised a major part of the diet, seven were identified as major agricultural pests and were 98% of the total rodent biomass in the diet of the IEO. The dependence of the IEO on rodent pests was further reflected by positive correlation between rodent biomass consumed and the breeding success of the owl. The IEO, therefore, plays a positive role in the biological control of crop pests. However, owls spent a longer duration of time in agricultural habitats, where they also had higher productivity. Thus IEO may be subjected to anthropogenic activities, human contact and interference. Since this owl is still hunted due to superstitious beliefs, scientific evidence elucidating the importance of the IEO in agricultural pest control can be used for its conservation by educating the farming community.
    Attribution
    Pande S., Dahanukar N. (2011). Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(3) pp. 2011-2017; doi:10.11609/JoTT.o2536.2011-7