Feeding resource utilization strategies of (Corvus splendens) in urban habitat of prayagraj (U.P.), India.
Aim: Habitat abundance relationships suggest that House crows are highly dependent on anthropogenic food sources. Thus urban locality is a prime preference as habitat by House crow. It is now well established that house crow is an invasive species and may be threat to local bird fauna. Over population may lead to unhygienic condition and economic damages. On the other hand there are Reports from some part of India where it is claimed that house crows are less in number to meet their cultural/religious demand. It is necessary for us to know how this bird utilizes feeding resources around us that is important for proper population management of this invasive bird species. Present study was conducted in urban locality of city Prayagraj, having plenty of feeding opportunities for House crows to know feeding strategies adopted by House crow. Methodology: Focal animal sampling method has been adapted to record feeding behavior of House crow. Total 41 feeding sites were visited to calculate number of House crows by following total count method with the use of available instruments. Two types of feeding sites have been identified namely regular feeding site and irregular feeding site. Apart from this, six land use categories i.e. residential area, public park/roadside, meat shop/fish market, commercial area, municipal dumping site and cultural/religious place were observed to work out feeding resource utilization strategies adopted by House crow. Appropriate statistical tests have been applied in this regard. Results: Significant difference has been found between total number of regular and irregular feeding sites (Calculated χ2 4.60 < critical χ2 3.84 p= .031). There was no significant difference in number of feeding sites among land use categories (Calculated χ2 4.72 < critical χ2 11.07 p= .448). Likewise no significant difference have been found in number of regular (Calculated χ2 2.72 < critical χ2 5.99 p= .256) and irregular (Calculated χ2 6.79< critical χ2 9.48 p= .147) feeding sites among land use categories. Significantly more House crow feed on regular feeding sites in comparison to irregular feeding sites (calculated t-value 7.084 >critical t-value 2.022 p < .0001). Significant difference has been found among number of house crow feeding under different land use categories(calculated F-value 4.828 > critical F- value 2.485 p .0018). No significant correlation has been observed among number of feeding sites in each land use categories and number of house crow feeing on them (calculated r- value 0.069 < critical r- value 0.811 p .895). Significant correlation has been observed between amount of food available in different land use categories and number of House crows feeding on them(calculated r-value 0.995> critical r- value 0.811 p .002). No positive correlation has been observed between number of feeding sites and amount of food available in each land use category (calculated r- value 0.152 < critical r-value 0.811 p .773). Conclusion: It was concluded that in present circumstances House crows mostly relay on dumping and cultural religious places for feeding purpose and hence for survival. Present work will help in proper population management of this environmental/cultural important bird.