All about owl diet
A Technical Manual on Identification of Prey Remains from Owl Pellets in Central India
By Prachi Mehta, Shyamkant Talmale, Jayant Kulkarni and Vaishnavi Kulkarni
Owls are some of the most specialised avian predators in the world. Their powerful vision, strong talons, and silent flight, makes them highly accomplished predators. Owls are versatile hunters and feed on a variety of live prey, including small mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and invertebrates. Owls consume their prey whole, and eject the undigested parts such as fur, feather, claws, talons, and invertebrate exoskeleton, in the form of a pellet. The regurgitated pellet offers valuable information on the foraging ecology of the owls. Identification of various prey items provides insights into dietary habits of owls. It can provide information on regional and seasonal variation in owl diet. Most usefully, it can provide information on differences in diet composition between species. In this manual, we provide systematic keys to identify prey remains of small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates, commonly found in the regurgitated pellets of owls. The manual provides photographic identification keys to five prey taxa commonly found in owl pellets. This is the first manual of its kind in India. An early version of this manual was released in the World Owl Conference held at Pune in December 2019. The manual includes forewords by well-known owl ecologists, Dr. David Johnson and Dr. Bruce Marcot, and has been meticulously reviewed by Dr. James Duncan. We are hopeful that this manual will prove to be a useful resource for researchers studying the diet of raptors and small carnivores in Central India.
There's many a way to Keep the Elephant Away
A Review of Crop Protection and Elephant Management Techniques
By Prachi Mehta, Jayant Kulkarni and Uma Athale
Communities living in the proximity of elephant landscapes face daily challenges in terms of protecting their crops from elephants. Elephants find agricultural crops irresistible. No wonder that farmers find it difficult to keep elephants away from their crop fields. To cope with this problem farmers, elephant scientists, and wildlife managers in Asia and Africa, have come up with a variety of techniques to keep the giant at bay. These solutions range from simple common-sense solutions to those using advanced technology. This book describes, in simple terms, a wide range of techniques and solutions that people have come up with, to protect agricultural crops from elephants. Each section describes one technique. We have also pointed out the pros and cons of each technique, so that you can make an informed decision on which one you should use. The last two chapters are devoted to more general elephant management issues. We hope this book makes it easier for people and elephants to live together in the same landscape.
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