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Rodents (Muridae) Abundance and Habitat Shift between Agricultural, Non-Agricultural Land and Human Dwellings: A Proposed Strategy to Decrease Crop Damage

Rodents (Muridae) Abundance and Habitat Shift between Agricultural, Non-Agricultural Land and Human Dwellings: A Proposed Strategy to Decrease Crop Damage

Raja Imran Hussain* and Iqra Yousaf

Department of Biology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi

*     Corresponding author: rajaimran2003@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT

Rodents (Muridae) are an important pest and their uncontrolled dispersal threatening yields of various crops including wheat. The goal of this study was to evaluate the shifts of rodent abundances among five sets of three different habitat types (human dwellings, agricultural and non-agricultural land). It was also expected that trapping in non-agricultural land and human dwellings could reduce wheat damage. 30 trap stations were placed in each cropland, non-agricultural land and human dwellings for twelve months. Rodent abundance was high in cropland and negatively correlated with human dwellings. No difference in abundance was observed in the non-crop and fallow land. Tatera indica was the most abundant species. High adjusted trapping success in cropland and low in human dwellings were observed during the spring season. Trapping influenced by 4.63% decrease in wheat damage. Non-agricultural land and human dwellings provide good shelter and food resources for rodent dispersal. Controlling one habitat of the landscape, either human dwellings or cropland, might not allow effective results because rodents still have alternative habitat for survival. Therefore, it is recommended to apply the control strategy on both habitat types before sowing the wheat crop. This might prevent damage to wheat and possible reduction of intensive use of rodenticides in cropland.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

October

Vol. 51, Iss. 5, Pages 1599-1997

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