Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan on Wednesday stressed the need to protect the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). He was speaking after declaring the city’s Connemara Market as the first ‘Sparrow Park’ in the state.
The event was jointly organised by the Social Forestry Division of the Forest Department and city-based Writers’ and Nature Lovers’ Forum. ‘’During my student days in the city, I used to see a lot of sparrows. This is a bird which needs protection,’’ he said. ‘’Some birds are migratory, visiting us seasonally and then departing. The sparrow is not like them. They are permanent residents here. They should not be let orphans,’’ he said.
He unveiled a plaque on the premises which has details about a rare, two-day survey of sparrows jointly conducted by the two organisations on April 21 and 22. In all, 246 of the small birds were spotted at several spots in the city.
The Minister also installed a few wooden nests for the birds at the market. The market was designated a ‘Sparrow Park’ in a bid to raise general awareness about the need to protect the birds and as an acknowledgement of the success of a sparrow project launched by the organisations in 2011. Back then, 50 nests were installed at the market and the April survey revealed that 43 of them were occupied.
The project met with success owing to the wholesome support extended by the traders here, said C Rahim, convener of Writers’ and Nature Lovers’ Forum.
Mayor K Chandrika, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests B S Corrie and Assistant Conservator P K Jayakumar Sharma were also present.