• Nafis Ahmad

      Articles written in Proceedings – Animal Sciences

    • Bait preferences of rodents in their natural habitat

      Nafis Ahmad V R Parshad

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      Preferences of rodents toward cereal baits have been studied in relation to the availability of food from their natural habitat in crop fields of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) and lentil (Lens culinaris). The experimental area was infested by three rodent species—Bandicota bengalensis, Taxera indica andMus sp. At the podding stage of groundnut crop they showed a poor response towards plain bait of whole wheat grains, the consumption of which increased significantly after addition of arachis oil at 1% concentration. The withdrawal of oil from the bait had no significant effect on its daily consumption by the rodents. In paired bait tests in podding groundnut crop, the addition of oil significantly increased the bait consumption of wheat and millet grains. The differences between daily consumption of millet grains became more significant when the bait station pairs were shifted to growing lentil crop which reflect the effect of environment on the feeding responses of rodents. Laboratory tests withB. bengalensis andT. indica trapped from the experimental fields confirmed the results of field studies that addition of oil in the cereal bait enhance bait consumption.

    • Effects of ecological factors on the performance of rodenticides in sugar cane

      V R Parshad Nafis Ahmad G Chopra

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      The sugar cane fields located near river Sutlej at Ladhowal (Lat. 30° 56’N, Long. 75° 52’E) were found infested with 4 rodent species namely,Bandicota bengalensis, Rattus meltada, Tatera indica andMus spp. Of these,B. bengalensis was most predominant. Compared to the adjoining wheat, paddy and mung crops the sugar cane fields at growth and maturity stages harboured high rodent population due to frequent waves of rodent immigration as a result of heavy rainfall and flooding of paddy fields in August and September and agronomic operations related to paddy-wheat rotation in most of the fields. Multiple poison baiting of rodents with brodifacoum (0·005%) and zinc phosphide (2·4%) in different fields of sugar cane resulted in significant differences in their performance within and between the fields. With these poisons the rodent control success ranged from 23·0–45·6% in the months of August and September and 68·1–93·4% in October to December. Overall reduction in post-control activity of rodents ranged from 47·2–96·1% in different fields with different poison combinations. The rodent control success seemed to be related to the differences in rodent populations, post-control reinfestation rates, timings of poison baiting, stage of crop development, weather conditions and sowing and harvesting operations in the adjoining crop fields. The environmental factors particularly affected the post-control reinfestation of rodents which as compared to the reference fields (0·35 rodents/100 traps/day) was significantly higher in the treated fields (0·56–2·33 rodents/100 traps/day).

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