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Biology of Indian Barbets

H.S.A. Yahya (Author)
Synopsis The barbets are a prominent group of tree-hole nesting birds. They belong to an extensive family (Capitonidae) with members in most tropical and subtropical parts of the world. Though the colou-ration of Indian barbet is largely green, they remain camouflaged mostly and draw attention to themselves by their calls. The name barbets has been derived from French Barbu (=bearded) which is suggested by the presence of nasal and rictal bristles. Food constitutes largely fruits but almost all species also feed considerable amount of insects, especially during breeding seasons. Paucity of information on the ecology and biology of the Asiatic barbets prompted an extensive field study by the author on these birds. It seemed desirable also to attempt an explanation of how these birds could coexist in the same restricted habitat, without serious competition and mutual exclusion. The book, thus contains a detail account of their comparative ecology and biology. Feeding impact of barbets on the coffee plantation has also been discussed. Contrary to general belief as minor pest, barbets may help the coffee plantation by picking and eating the White Borer—a serious pest on coffee plant. They also control the teak defoliator caterpillars. Barbets are economically important and play a significant role in controlling various harmful insects, in cross-pollination and seed dispersal of trees. Though barbets are presently common at many places, the declining trend in forest cover would be detrimental for their sustainable survival.
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About the author

H.S.A. Yahya

After obtaining his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of the Late Dr. Salim Ali from the University of Bombay in 1980. Dr. Yahya worked as filed biologist in various projects of Bombay Natural History. While posted at Bharatpur (Rajasthan) and Harike (Punjab) he has ringed over ten thousand birds. He has been actively contributing to Indian ornithology and conservation of bio-diversity. He has also worked with Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFEI), Peechi, for a brief period. Before joining the A.M.U., he worked as a lecturer in the Postgraduate Department of Zoology at R.K. College, Madhubani, Bihar, for three years. Dr. Yahya is one of the founder teachers of the Department of Wildlife Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University. Since 1998 he is serving as Professor and Chairman of the Department. He has published a number of papers in leading journals, technical reports and popular articles in English as well a in Urdu. His earlier two books – Feeding Impacts of Parakeets and Crows on Aagriculture and Biology of Indian Barbets have been quite popular. While working with the National Commission of Woldlife Conservation and Development in Saudi Arabia between 1994 and 1997, he has done important studies on several avifauna projects. Dr. Yahya has supervised over 30 M.Sc., 5 M.Phil. and 3 Ph.D. students. He has delivered many extension lectures in Bahrain, Britain, Canada, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and USA. Dr. Yahya wishes to continue learning and understanding the intricacy of nature. He gets immense pleasure in sharing his experiences with his students vis-?-vis contributing for the cause of nature conservation.

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Bibliographic information

Title Biology of Indian Barbets
Author H.S.A. Yahya
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st. Ed.
Publisher Authors Press
Language: English
length xxvi+170p., Tables; Figs.