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Rodents

  • G. Govinda Raj
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter on rodents and their management is dealt in three sections, mainly to serve as practical material for the graduate and postgraduate students of Agricultural Entomology and Zoology from the point of pest management. Rodents being most important vertebrate pests cause crop damage at all stages of growth and development, 10–15% on an average. Besides damage, they are also instrumental in transmitting deadly zoonotic diseases to humans and their livestock. Section I deals with rodent characters, pest species, identification and distribution and data on rodent damage crop stage wise. Rodents belong to the class Mammalia, order Rodentia, which comprise of 4 families, 43 genera and 99 species; 14–20 species are of economic importance, and 103 species identified. They are universally distributed in all the agroclimatic and geographical regions of the country. Gerbils are distributed in dry agricultural fields, mole rats in irrigated fields, bamboo rat, wood and Rattus species are found in NEH region in rice and bamboo ecosystems. Squirrels are confined to forest ecosystems of Western Ghats. The Rattus species, a very predominant commensal rodent, has global distribution. Rodents are identified based on their variations in the head, body and tail characters. Crop damage due to rodents is depicted. Social behaviour, population dynamics and reproduction in rodents are well illustrated, and the annual productivity of rodent field population is shown in tables under Section II. Neophobia and bait shyness, behaviour of rodents and their implication in rodent pest management are discussed. The last Section III deals with rodent pest management aspects and includes physical, biological and chemical methods of management together with rodenticide evaluation methods. Most importantly, the extension technologies for the management of rodents in different cropping systems are shown in Table 26.10 for taking up control measures against rodents. Further, this chapter is illustrated with good rodent photographs and their burrows along with other known rodents from other geographical regions.

Keywords

Rodent pest species Identification characters Population dynamics Reproduction Methods of rodent pest management and extension technologies 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The author wishes to record his gratefulness to the Project Directorate, AINP on Vertebrate Pest Management (ICAR), CAZRI, Jodhpur, and the Directorate of Research, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore, Karnataka, for providing an opportunity to work on rodents at Bangalore Centre.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Govinda Raj
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of Agricultural SciencesBangaloreIndia

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