Pest is the word people would like to associate with insects and pathogens which inflicts damages to the crop plants and storage products etc.
When a species known for its hormonal existence is cause of concern then there is certain thing that is to be examined in relation to present states of condition.
Squirrel is known to forage on forest products like nuts, fruit and resins etc. Squirrel a small tree dweller used to be found abundantly in the forest and village areas of Tripura. It was never considered to be a reason of headache by the people until ten years ago.
But, till recently it has posed to be a great menace by the coconut growers of the state. Coconut is the new victim of squirrel in Tripura. Squirrel attacks matured coconut causing huge damage to the growers.
The emergence of squirrel as pest to the coconut in the village area is new to the villagers for they never had that experience that squirrel could be the nuisance for them. Earlier it is used to be in the town area that some news of attack or damage by the squirrel to the coconut was heard.
Now the squirrel is causing widespread damage to the coconut growers in the villages. Whatever may be the size of coconut plantation but production level has come down drastically due to Squirrel.
Villagers, farmers are finding difficulties to control or manage the problem of squirrel due to lack of effective control measure as the squirrel is tree dwellers it is very difficulty with cage system of trapping that used to be employed for managing the rat menace.
Forest coverage depletion in the area is the main cause for emergence of squirrel and their attack on the homestead plants and crops.
Depletion of natural forest and emergence of Rubber plantation has brought out many changes in terms of host plants of different insect and mammal, this has resulted in wipe out of many species and in the same time some species have emerged as pest to useful crops of the people.
Species which could withhold the changes in the natural ecosystem and habitation have to find out and depend on alternate host plants for existence and it is crop plants that has come their rescue. Their dependence or sole dependence have resulted in significant economical loss to the crop plants and emerged as new crop pests.
Natural imbalance, it is the case that has been happening constantly every where, people in the pursuit for betterment and comfort knowingly or unknowingly intervene and influence on the natural ecosystem. When ecosystem is disturbed, the whole systems get affected.
The present scenario invites many more species to emerge as pest to the mankind and reasons for such emergence may be many but change of ecosystem and natural imbalance are surely the influencing factors that have been acting as compelling grounds.
Squirrel is just one example only; it however sheds the light of other side of picture that is to be taken into consideration in our endeavor for better future. Continuance in suppression would bring more conflict with Mother Nature and result for which would be highly hostile for our future generation.
Agritangkol dated 24.11.2011 at 09.30 A.M