In Entomology Department, the thrust areas include monitoring of forest insect diversity, control of termites in plantations, wood damaging insects and teak defoliator, traditional methods of post-harvest protection of bamboo from insect borers, etc. The mass production technology of the biopesticide Hyblaea puera
Nucleo Polyhedrosis Virus (HpNPV) has been standardized, and the application technology has been transferred to stakeholders. The concept of butterfly garden has been popularized and technical advice provided to various agencies for the establishment of butterfly parks.
Research programmes in the Department of Forest Entomology deal with following general issues in forestry and conservation.
- Evaluation of the present and potential insect pest problems relevant to forestry in Kerala.
- Development of suitable methods or procedures to reduce the economic loss caused by the pests,
- Study of the soil biology with special reference to the insect biota,
- Biological control of the insect pests.
In addition to this problem-solving research, some fundamental studies on the taxonomy, biology and ecology of insects are undertaken to increase our understanding of the interaction between insects and trees and the role of insects in the forest. Such understanding, apart from advancing the knowledge in Entomology, is often necessary for developing better and environmentally safe pest management strategies.
- Standardization of methods for control of termites in eucalypt plantations.
- Identification and control of insect borers of stored commercial wood.
- Study on loss of wood increment in teak due to insect defoliatior Hyblaea puera
- Management strategy for Hyblaea puera in teak using a potential of natural enemy Hyblaea puera Nucleo Polyhedrosis Virus (HpNPV).
- Investigations are made on the seasonal incidence and control of pests of Ailanthus, Albizia and Gmelina
- Incidence of pests in natural forests and develop methods to manage insect pest populations in such a way as to limit the economic loss to tolerable levels rather than attempt to control the pest completely.
- The department popularized the concept of butterfly gardens and now provide technical advice to various agencies for the establishment of butterfly parks.
- The Department maintains a representative collection of identified insects and is equipped to provide identification service to other research organizations on the Lepidopteran fauna.
Ongoing Research Projects
- Network project on conservation of Lac insect genetic resources
- Tracking the invasion of Achatina Fulica and its role in spreading the rat lung worm Angiostrongylos cantonensis
- Evaluation of Phenotypic and Phytochemical profiles of selected medicinal plants from different agro- climatic conditions of Kerala
- Exploring the possibility of developing Semiochemical based control strategy for the management of Cossus cadambae- the borer pest of Tectona granidis through isolation & identification of its pheromone system
- Establishment of Nodal Centre of Alien Invasive Species research and management
- Management of destructive invasive alien species in the high range mountain landscape of Munnar in the Western Ghats of Kerala
- Study on diversity and current status of fish and fisheries in GEF-Munar landscape project area
- Study on the impact of invasive plant species on ecology of GEF-Munnar landscape project area
Contact: Dr. TV Sajeev
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA