The city of Kochi, where house sparrows were abundant, is losing its sparrow population at an alarming rate. House sparrows are considered as an indicator species of sound and healthy environment. The study results of sparrow population survey conducted by TIES in association with World House Sparrow Day indicate a drastic declination in the population of house sparrows. In Cochin City, house sparrows inhabit at Marine Drive and Broadway Market. This year’s survey indicates 350 sparrows in Broadway market and less than 150 in Marine Drive. While there were 740 house sparrows in 2012 at Kottayam city, it has shrunk to 150 this year. In 2012, there were 10 sites sparrows colonized in; whereas sparrows exist in only five among them.
Alarmingly small number of juveniles in both cities indicates the declination in their population growth. One of the reasons for this startling trend is the increased pesticide content in the cereals, which is their staple food. Also, the number of shop keepers who were actively involved in the conservation has reduced. The shift from traditional architecture to modern construction methods has severely affected their habitat. Additionally, the increased population of pigeons in towns and cities has increased the competition among birds for food and space. Increased atmospheric temperature in the summer seasons adds up pressure on their survival. Moreover, studies indicate that the radiation from mobile towers negatively affect the embryonic development of sparrows.
For the sparrow conservation, TIES in collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd has conducted an awareness programme at Marine Drive. The shopkeepers who carry out conservation activities were acknowledged. Around 150 nests and bird baths were established all over Marine Drive and Broadway Market. Dr Punnen Kurian (Principal, St Mary’s College, Manarcaud), Mr Bose Joseph (Chief H.R Manager, Indian Oil), James Pottackal (Secretary, Soha), Jiby Mathew (CSR Coordinator, TIES) and Aswini VR (Project Officer, TIES) has talked in the public meeting conducted on the eve of World House Sparrow Day. The committee has asked the government to implement house sparrow conservation programme with immediate effect.Posted by TIES / Posted on Mar , 21 2017