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Controlling Rat Pests with the Natural Predator Javan Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Carbon Farming Initiative


In the Karang Agung Ilir (KAI) District, farmers face serious problems due to attacks by rice field rats. Efforts to control rats in general by fencing and using rat poison are considered ineffective and costly. In addition, the use of poison also threatens the sustainability of other natural predator birds, including the Javan Barn Owl (Tyto alba), which is actually a natural predator of rice field rats.

Installation of perches and owl houses around the rice fields area (1)
Installation of perches and owl houses around the rice fields area (2)

To address this issue, Relung Indonesia and Penabulu accompanied KAI farmers in developing pest control efforts by utilizing the Tyto alba owl as a natural predator of rice field rats. This bird was chosen because it is active at night and can catch many rats every day. The program implementation was carried out through stages involving focus group discussions, socialization, site surveys, installation of perches and owl houses, and regular monitoring of Tyto alba.

The results of this program have had a significant positive impact. Not only has it successfully reduced attacks by rice field rats, but it has also stimulated an increase in rice production. This success has led to the adoption of the program by more farmer groups in KAI and has even attracted interest from other areas. Furthermore, farmers have begun to reduce the use of pesticides and rodenticides and have started to develop their own organic fertilizers.

In conclusion, controlling rice field rat pests by utilizing the Javan Barn Owl Tyto alba has brought about positive changes in agriculture in KAI. This program is not only effective in controlling pests but is also environmentally friendly and economically sustainable.


Sunaring Kurniandaru

“Birds have cages, spiders have webs, humans have friendship.”

-Wiliam Blake

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