Distribution and Abundance of Vertebrate Pests of Cultivated Maize and their Eco-Friendly Management in District Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
Abu ul Hassan Faiz1,*, Fakhar-i-Abbas2, Mehboob ul Hassan3 and Lariab Zahra Faiz1
The present study was conducted to document distribution and abundance of vertebrate pests in District (Bagh), Azad Kashmir. The study was conducted in three areas (Harighel fields, Grid colony fields and Iqbal colony fields during mid April to mid December 2017 by selecting 5 model plots of maize. On each study site, line transect method for small mammalian pest, for large mammals spot light count and for birds point count methods were used to determine abundance of each species. The study, documented 10 species of mammalian pests, 13 species of pest birds of maize crop and their population density differed significantly (P≤ 0.05) at study sites. The habitat analysis of study sites and correlation of species with habitat were done through Principal Component Analysis (PCA) by using software (XLSTAT-Ecology version). The habitat was positively correlated in the two areas while the study site Harighel fields was negatively correlated. It was also found that most species except for a few were positively correlated with habitat. The infestation of pest starts at the time of sowing and continued to post harvest stage. A properly scheduled ecofriendly approach was needed to control this infestation to prevent significant loss of maize production.