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http://www.scidev.net/global/biodiversity/news/small-birds-save-big-money-for-costa-rica-s-farmers.html

 

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Flickr/Tom Tetzner/USFWS

Speed read

  • Insect-eating birds halved borer pest numbers on coffee farms in Costa Rica
  • The more forest patches there were near a farm, the greater the protection was
  • The findings could provide a new incentive to protect wildlife
 
Research in Costa Rica shows that wild birds significantly reduce damage by a devastating coffee pest, the coffee berry borer beetle, contributing to huge savings to local farms and providing incentive to protect wildlife habitat, Nature News reported yesterday.The study found that insectivorous birds, such as yellow warblers, halved infestations by the beetle Hypothenemus hampei, saving a medium-sized coffee farm up to US$9,400 over a year’s harvest — roughly equal to Costa Rica’s average per-capita income.
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“We know that native wildlife can provide you with a pretty significant benefit.”

Daniel Karp,
Stanford University

 

And the more forest grew on and near a coffee farm, the more birds the farm had, and the lower its infestation rates were, found the study published in Ecology Letters (27 August).

“Based on this study, we know that native wildlife can provide you with a pretty significant benefit,”  Daniel Karp, a conservation biologist at Stanford University in California, who led the study, told Nature News. “Incorporating their conservation into your management of pests is absolutely something you should do.”

Previous research, published in Conservation Biology, showed that birds in Jamaica have a similar effect.

Link to full article in Nature News

Link to abstract in Ecology Letters

Link to full article in Conservation Biology

References

Ecology Letters doi: 10.1111/ele.12173 (2013)
Conservation Biology doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00968.x (2008)

 

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Book Review: Rice Pests of Bangladesh- Their Ecology and Management
Authors: Zahirul Islam and David Catling

The University Press Limited
Red Crescent House, 6th Floor
61 Montijheel C/A
GPO Box 2611, Dhaka 1000
Bangladesh
Website: http://www.uplbooks.com.bdo
e-mail: upl@bangla.net

2012, 422 pages
ISBN: 978 984 506 048 6
2003, 512 pages
Price: Tk. 1600.00
Hard cover

Rice Pests of Bangladesh provides a comprehensive coverage of all of the abiotic constraints to rice production in the field and of pests in storage. The quality of this publication is enhanced by the fact that it brings together the accumulated data and experience of the two authors over the last 30 years. The 14 chapters and 422 pages cover all aspects of rice pest management including pests, yield loss, major control strategies and rice IPM.

Chapter 1 is entitled “Bangladesh and Rice.” Chapter 2 discusses the concepts of rice growth and pest status. Chapters 3-7 cover the early vegetative insect pests, general defoliators, stem borers, sap feeders and minor invertebrate pests. Chapter 8 discusses the vertebrate pests; rodents and birds. Chapter 9 provides a comprehensive coverage of the rice diseases; fungal, viral, bacterial and nematodes. The major weed species, their ecology severity and management are covered in Chapter 10. Chapter 11 explains the concepts of yield loss including mechanisms, plant compensation and yield loss assessment methods. Pests of rice in storage including insects, fungi and rodents are explained in Chaptger 12. Provides a detailed coverage of the major control strategies including cultural control, plant resistance, biological control and chemical control and pesticides. Chapter 14 covers the IPM of rice pests; concepts, principles, current management systems and new concepts for IPM in Bangladesh rice production.

This profusely illustrated book with an underlying IPM and ecological approach takes a fresh look at yield losses from insects and diseases and contains a wealth of information for rice plant protection specialists. It is specifically targeted to students, teachers, researchers, extension officers and agricultural development workers. The value of this book is enhanced as the information therein is not only relevant to Bangladesh but also applies to the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam and Bihar.

Prof. E. A. “Short” Heinrichs
Associate Director Emeritus
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68583-0748 USA

Research Professor, UNL Department of Entomology
Secretary General, International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS)
Email: eheinrichs2@unl.edu

 

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See 10 rice field bird photos at:

http://www.scidev.net/global/farming/multimedia/the-rich-diversity-of-birds-in-rice-field-ecosystems.html

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The blue-tailed bee-eater nests in holes burrowed into tall sandbanks

Rice fields cover 160 million hectares around the world — an area more than six times the size of the United Kingdom. They are an important ecosystem for various animals, including a number of birds that can be seen at the experimental paddies run by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

The IRRI fields in the Philippines cover just 250 hectares, but can be considered a microcosm of millions of rice fields globally in which sustainable agricultural practices, such as non-lethal methods of controlling rice-eating birds, are used.

These images were part of photography exhibition, Feathers in the Fields: The Birds of IRRI. They show the abundance of birds within a rice field ecosystem. This emphasises the need to carefully manage rice fields and, ultimately, the wildlife that depends on them, as well as the need to prevent their conversion to urban uses. It also offers a way to correct the misconception among many farmers that birds are pests and raise awareness that 90 per cent feed on harmful insects. The birds reduce dependence to pesticides producing greener rice farming.

This article has been produced by SciDev.Net’s South-East Asia & Pacific desk.

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