IMPORTANCE OF THE PRESENCE OF JUNGLE CATS (FELIS CHAUS SCHREBER, 1777) IN THE AGRICULTURAL FIELDS OF BELUN VILLAGE, WEST BENGAL, INDIATanima Choudhury and Narayan Ghorai
This study was conducted to determine the importance of jungle cats in Belun agricultural village. The fields in the Belun village produced paddy, mustard and potato. The paddy and potato crops were destroyed by the Indian mole rats. The Indian mole rat caused destruction of 3732.4 kg of paddy per production cycle. The paddy was found at a depth of 36 Â± 12cm. 1.10 Â± 1.0 kg of paddy was collected per rodent burrow. 1538.47 kg of potato was also lost from Indian mole rat activity. The farmers lost an amount of `25,089.1 from the rodentsâ activities. A market revenue of `150,206.9 was lost due to the rodentsâ activities. The villagers lost 1.3Â± 1.9 chickens/ 1.9 Â± 2.5 ducks per household annually due to the jungle cats. The jungle cats are a major predator of the Indian mole rats. Since the jungle cats cause less economic loss to villagers and help to reduce the rodent population in the area, their presence in village is beneficial to the villagers.