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It's Chirpy News as Sparrows Record Population Spurt this Year

A headcount conducted by WWF-India in eight locations in the city has revealed a 115 per cent jump in the sparrow population compared to last year.In the eight locations, the WWF-India team counted 411 sparrows as against 205 last year.The House Sparrow Survey on March 18 and 20 in connection with the World Sparrow Day celebrations covered eight locations in the city

Published: 23rd March 2016 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2016 05:49 AM   |  A+A-

sparrows

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A few years ago, bird lovers in the city had launched a project, with the assistance of the Forest Department, to protect the once-ubiquitous house sparrow. The effort seems to be paying off.  A headcount conducted by WWF-India in eight locations in the city has revealed a 115 per cent jump in the sparrow population compared to last year. In the eight locations, the WWF-India team counted 411 sparrows as against 205 last year. The House Sparrow Survey on March 18 and 20 in connection with the World Sparrow Day celebrations covered Palayam-Connemara market, Chalai Market, Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station, Thiruvananthapuram central KSRTC bus stand, East Fort bus terminal, Valiathura-Shangumugham, Peroorkada market and the coastal stretch covering Vallakadavu, Sulaiman street, Beemapally and Poonthura.

''Tallying the numbers from the sites, the total count stands at 441 individuals. This reflects a considerable increase from the previous year's count of 205. There will be a considerable variation from the absolute number of sparrows in Thiruvananthapuram City. But these numbers can be taken as a reflection of its status compared to last year's,'' WWF-India state director Renjan Mathew Varghese said.  The biggest difference in sparrow population was seen on the coastal stretch covering Vallakadavu, Sulaiman street, Beemapally and Poonthura.

Here, the WWF-India team counted 288 individuals this time compared to just 55 last year. In the Connemara market, where birding groups had installed nests to encourage the tiny feathered friends to roost, the numbers were more of less the same as last year. On the other hand, the railway station and the central bus terminal seem to be the least sparrow-friendly places in the city.  WWF-India teams which visited the two locations failed to spot a single bird in both places. And it was the same situation last year. ''The dominance of feral pigeons observed in these sites could be one reason for the absence of sparrows. The sparrow population in Chalai Market showed a drastic decline from last year for reasons unknown to us as of now. The birds observed during the survey were seen as isolated individuals. An augmentation programme like that done in Palayam Market could turn the tide in favor of sparrows here,'' WWF-India senior education officer A K Sivakumar said.



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