The decline in sparrow populations worldwide has been so drastic that even those who are most unobservant of the natural world, are feeling the difference. The little House Sparrow, our commonest and most familiar bird, is having a tough time battling with the following problems-
1. Microwave pollution- Our ever-increasing dependence on mobile phones has given way to the multiplication of mobile towers. Microwaves released from these towers are as injurious to the health of a sparrow as x-rays are to ours.
2. Lack of food- sparrows are commensals of man and are finding it difficult to adapt to our changing lifestyles. Traditional granaries are fats being replaced by malls, supermarkets. pre-cleaned and packaged grains, flour etc are now preferred. These are inaccessible to sparrows, who depend a lot on us humans for their existence.
3. Lack of nesting sites- modern architecture denies nesting opportunities to sparrows. Glass and aluminium composites have taken over, which offer no place for the sparrows to nest. Also, these new buildings hardly ever have gardens, and even if they do, they consist of ornamental plants which are of no ecologic value and often pose a threat to ecological balance.
4. Advances in agriculture and the use of pesticides
5. The introduction of unleaded petrol- the combustion of which produces methyl nitrate, which is toxic for insects. The diet of sparrow hatchlings comprises almost entirely of insects.
What you and I can do to help our winged friends-
It isn’t a tough task at all for every household to take care of one pair of sparrows each. All we need to do is keep water (preferrably in earthen vessels) and a handful of grains at places where the sparrows prefer to perch. For those who want to do more- just buy a bird box and hang it up at a place that is well out of the reach of dogs and cats and is preferrably a little cooler than the surroundings. I don’t think these tiny jewels are asking for a lot of effort from us at all. These small measures will really help increase their numbers.
For more information please visit- http://www.natureforever.org/decline.html
More cartoons on sparrow conservation on- http://www.greenhumour.com/search/label/sparrow%20conservation
This work by Rohan Chakravarty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.