Indian crested porcupine Hystrix indica Kerr (Rodentia: Hystricidae): an emerging threat to saffron cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir
The Indian crested porcupine, Hystrix indica Kerr (Rodentia: Hystricidae) is emerging as a serious pest of saffron. Porcupine is largest rodent, herbivorous, noctranal and fossorial animal. A survey conducted for two years (2008 and 2009) in saffron growing districts, i.e. Pulwama and Budgam indicated that seven villages, i.e. Samboora, Chandhara, Lethpora, Kakpora, Shar-Mandekpal, Gundbal, Ladhoo of district Pulwama and one village, i.e. Hyatpura in District Badgam revealed that saffron and fruit orchards are badly infested by porcupine activity in the month of February to April causing damage to the planted saffron corms and standing fruit trees. Around four thousand families residing in the targeted blocks are directly or indirectly dependent on horticulture and allied activities. Only 3% damage to saffron by this pest can lead to the loss estimated to the tune of 17.4 million rupees annually which will prove to be major setback to the state economy in near future.
Manzar, A. and Nehvi, F.A. (2018). Indian crested porcupine Hystrix indica Kerr (Rodentia: Hystricidae): an emerging threat to saffron cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir. Acta Hortic. 1200, 133-138