BANGALORE: Recall the days when one could hear the sparrows’ chirping, jumping from one twig to another and picking grains with their families around the houses. But today the chirping of these little birds can hardly be heard. The loss of sparrows are apparently due to rapid urbanisation in the metropolitan city of Bangalore.
In order to spread awareness about the loss of sparrows, the organisation Bio-diversity Conservation India Limited (BCIL) is organising a Sparrow Race, a cyclothon on March 18 and an International Sparrow Conference on March 20 at St Joseph’s College where ornithologists and celebrities will address students about the importance of sparrows in the eco system of the city. This Sparrow Race will start from Vidhana Soudha to St Joseph’s Arts and Science College, Langford Road.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr Harish Narayan, general manager of BCIL, said, “Butterflies and sparrows are the health indicators of the environment. The sparrows were coexistent with human beings for ages. But there are hardly any sparrows found in the city today. This indicates what humans have done to the environment in the name of urbanisation and development of the city and country.”
A year ago, sparrow nests were distributed among college students to have a better comprehension about the sparrows. Over 35,000 nests were distributed in colleges like Christ University, St Joseph’s College and Vijaya College among others. As the cause was not considered seriously by the students, this initiative was dropped by the organisation, said Sandhya, event organiser at BCIL. She added, “In this cyclothon, we expect participants to take snaps of the sparrows, if they come across any during the rally and also place some nests on plants and trees where sparrows can rest.”
The organisation has also suggested to the government to plant fruit bearing trees that can lure not only sparrows but also other birds, rather than aimlessly planting usual trees around the city. Speaking about the actual causes for the rapid loss of sparrows in the city, Dr Harish said, “We can only see the bricks and sophisticated houses, leaving sparrows homeless. The lack of nesting space is one of the major cause for the rapid loss.”
The organisation in turn addresses these issues with an endeavour to find solution to the problem. “Grains and a bowl of water in the balcony of every house can attract the sparrows. After a span of time, they will have a secured environment,” said Dr Harish.