Characteristics of damage by vertebrate pests to groundnuts in Pakistan
Vertebrate pest damage to groundnut (Arachis hypogea) was assessed at harvest in 164 fields selected along road transects in Pakistan. Overall damage in these fields was estimated at 5.3%, of which the lesser bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis) accounted for 2.4%, the short-tailed mole rat (Nesokia indica) caused 1.0%, and the wild boar (Sus scrofa) caused 0.9%. Desert hares (Lepus nigricollis), crested porcupines (Hystrix indica) and house crows (Corvus splendens) together accounted for the remaining 1.0% damage. The damage characteristics of each species are described. Observations indicated that visual above-ground examination of plants for damage underestimated the actual loss because both lesser bandicoot rats and mole rats often remove groundnut pods below ground without killing or otherwise damaging the plants. The yield loss based upon 5.3% damage would equal 67 kg of groundnut per hectare.