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AINP on Agricultural Ornithology, Anand


  1. Community structure of birds and their diversity in relation to various crop stages of paddy was carried out in   different agro-climatic zones. The Cattle Egret was the most abundant species at all the stages.
  2. Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit were the major wetland migratory birds that damaged the wheat and fodder crops viz., sorghum and maize at the sowing to sprouting stage in Saurashtra. Demoiselle Cranes damaged standing crop of chickpea, groundnut and wheat in Saurashtra region.
  3. Density of depredatory birds and bird damage to pearl millet in Saurashtra were the least in Junagadh district while these were the highest in Jamnagar district. Bird damage to pearl millet was correlated positively at significant level with the density of the total damaging birds and the density of Rosy Pastor in Saurashtra.
  4. Mapping of breeding sites of Cattle Egret using RS and GIS was done in four tahsils of Anand district.
  5. A comparison of distribution pattern of crows showed that the Jungle Crow was absent in Surendranagar, Kachchh and Banaskantha districts. However there are reports of its occurrence from some coastal areas of Kachchh. In Anand and Kheda districts, Jungle Crow was dominant over the House Crow. At Waghai forest, its abundance was about 90 %.. The Jungle Crow never existed all alone. In northwest parts of Banaskantha district, Common Raven- Corvus corax (a species only once recorded from Gujarat) was recorded at two places.
  6. When both the species of crows co-exist, there is clear-cut food preference. Food habits and distribution shows that the House Crow is generalist whereas the Jungle Crow is a specialist.
  7. Reflective ribbon and jute string tied around panicles of wheat crop at maturing stage proved effective against Rose-ringed Parakeet damage.
  8. Evaluation of repellent property of Andrographics paniculata, Annona squamosa,  Ipomea carnea, Cassia auriculata 10% leaf extract to Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus in captivity proved to be non-effective.
  9. Food habit of Spotted Owlet was studied. Amongst the prey items, insects (96.57%) were most dominant food item as compared to the micro mammals (2.40%) and unidentified vertebrates (1.03%). The relative abundance of insects (96.57%) was highest which mainly constituted Orthoptera (41.54%), Coleoptera (37.23%), and Dermaptera (16.33%); while small mammals (2.40%) and unidentified vertebrate (1.03%) had very low relative abundance. Amongst individual prey items, relative abundance of Gryllotalpa africana (41.54%) was highest followed by Labidura reparia (16.33%) and Agriotes sp. (12.96%). Only these three insect species contributed 70.83% of the owlet’s diet.
  10. Forest Owlet Athene blewiti – a critically threatened species was re-discovered in Gujarat.
  11. At least 22 species of birds were found feeding on the Helicoverpa larvae in Pigeon pea.
  12. Various nest box designs for cavity nesting birds were tested. Entrance hole diameter preference was as follow: House Sparrow - 3.5 cm; Brahminy Myna - 4.5 cm; Indian Myna, Spotted Owlet as well as Rose-ringed Parakeet - 6.0 cm.
  13. The berry of Pilu – Salvadora persica plants in the hedge around their crop field help in retaining twenty five species of insectivorous / beneficial birds for a longer period. The birds retained in the landscape over a longer period consequently help in natural regulation of insect pests of agricultural crop.
  14. Twelve important bird species were recorded feeding on fruits of Ficus spp.
  15. Fairly good population of House Sparrow was observed in rural area of Anand, Ahmedabad, Banaskantha, Kachchh, Kheda, Surendranagar, and Sabarkantha districts. Its population was more in the outskirts of the city than in city and agricultural ecosystem.
  16. Inventory on mortality of key bird fauna due to pesticide poisoning revealed that incidental mortality of Indian Peafowl was most prominent. However, tissues of carcasses and wheat grains collected from the foraging sites did not show pesticide residues.  A pair of Sarus Crane died due to pesticide poisoning near sewage farm at Anand in June 2008. The grains taken out from the gizzard contained monocrotophos ranging from 47.62 to 202.41 ppm. Other birds species died and affected were Spotted Dove, Jungle Babbler, Shikra and Black Kite.
  17. During evaluation of physical barriers to prevent entry of Indian Peafowl in to the crop field, restricted plots with two jute strings tied parallel to the ground at 1 ft and 1.5 ft on the periphery of the crop  was found effective in several experiments.
  18. Under the Awareness programme, three broachers, three popular articles and three press notes were published. The centre also organized two days training programme for farmers and volunteers and also organized demonstration of bird scarring devices at several sites.
  19. Thirty nine species of important fish-eating birds on the aquaculture farms were identified.
  20. Breeding performance and population status of the Indian Sarus Crane was monitored in central Gujarat.
  21. Breeding ground of flamingos was monitored in Rann of Kachchh. A new and largest nesting site was discovered 10 km north to Kuda in Great Rann of Kachchh.
  22. Documentation of wetland biodiversity in selected agro-ecological regions of Gujarat.
  23. Bird damage to mango fruits was <.01 % in south Gujarat, Kachchh and Saurashtra region.
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