Subhas Chandra Datta
International Journal of Horticulture, Agriculture and Food science(IJHAF), Vol-3,Issue-3, May - June 2019, Pages 119-126, 10.22161/ijhaf.3.3.2
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Kanchannagar D.N.Das High School (HS), Kanchannagar, Purba Bardhaman-713102,West Bengal, India, is situated besides the Damodar river and is surrounded by ponds- and agriculture- fields. The school campus, prevails the main old- and tall- tree of banyan tree (Ficus bengalensis) with other trees, nutritional garden with midday meal, exhibited an enriched faunal diversity comprising small mammals, reptiles, toads, small birds and insects. Midday meal in a school depends on quality and supply of healthy foods which are depend on the habitants in the school environment. The rats were spoiling the foods for mid-day meal, rooms, important documents and materials in the school. Once the bats in the banyan tree began to make the school building dirty by their excreta. Different pests significantly reduce food production in the nutritious kitchen garden in school. The pesticides are the most effective means of control, but they are expensive and not environment friendly. To move forward, it will require new and more efficient solutions, technologies, products and it has to fulfill all requirements. Our best endeavor is to focus on the barn owl (Tyto alba Scopoli) which may have important economic implications for school environment as well as agriculture in future. Observations on the dietary habits and behaviors of the barn owl occupying a wooden nest were recorded in September 2018-February 2019 at school. During six months of observations, total consumed animals of barn owl, are analyzed from the regurgitated pellets; rats, mice and moles remained the highest as owls dietary proportions (58.13%), bats (13.57%), mongoose (10.41%), squirrels (8.89%), small birds like babblers etc (6.32%), insects (2.22%) and others animals like toads etc (0.47%). Due to mid day meal within the school campus and owl’s clear vision during the night, it preferred to consume a variety of rodents inhabiting the kitchen stored as well as school campus. Food grains of mid day meal attracts rodents resulting a rapid increase of rats and mice but the presence of owl compel them to run away from the premises and they become guards for the cleanliness of the school. It can, therefore, serve as a useful “Healthcare Bio-Controller” i.e. Biological Bird of Prey. Their breeding helps to escalate the vegetation system of the school area and made the ponds clean; directly emphasized the ecosystem. Evidently, the barn owl would ensure a substantial management of ecosystem for better growth of economically important crops and their management in agriculture, horticulture as well as pisiculture also. And improves midday meal by supplying quality vegetables also and it would not only be easier way, easily available, cheap but also conserve our biodiversity and improves school environment which will contribute towards “Sustainable Climate, School Health and Development with Joyful learning environment”. They are also opening a path of research for the students of our school who are observing them closely. We are amazed to find the coexistence of predator and prey on the same platform where owls and pigeons are found busy in incubation. It does not attacking the pigeons. Owls do not cause any harm to the other resident birds within the campus also and directly or indirectly they are helping us in various ways. They realize the meaning of relationship so they did not feel irritating when visitors, school students went to meet them.