Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings collection


Date of this Version

March 1980


The collared pika, Ochotona rufescens has been recorded as a serious pest in apple orchards in the uplands valley of Ziarat in Baluchistan. In the winter, when the natural vegetation is lacking, the pikas debark the apple tree trunks or branches resulting in the killing of the tree and reduced fruit production. In summer, damage to wheat, corn and potatoes is also very severe. It is estimated that pikas cause hundreds of thousands of dollars (US) in annual apple production losses. The apple production in Baluchistan accounts for about 35 percent of the total provincial income through food production. During the six years (1974-1979), the winter of 1973-74 was noted for heavy damage to apple trees and thereafter it declined steadily. The control measures evaluated were of various kinds among which repellent "Ostico" was very effective in protecting the trees. Poison baiting with brodifacoum (0.005%), Vacor (1%) and thallium sulphate (1%) were also effective in reducing the pika population. To alleviate damage caused by pikas, the farmers also practice some traditional protective methods which in some cases are quite effective but very laborious.