A national survey of House Sparrow populations in India has been planned the Bombay Natural History Society to help identify the reasons for the huge decline in population over the past years in order to construct effective and targetted preservation strategies based upon the findings.
Survey questions include:
How many Sparrows do you think are in your area?
What is the area of the locality?
Where do you find the nests?
When was your house built?
Is it an inpdendent house or part of an apartment complex?
Do you have open vegetation close to your home?
Much information can be inferred from the answers and conservation plans can be made upon the results.
It suggested rice as a Sparrow food supply is more difficult for the birds to find and eat. In the past, rice "was transported in gunny bags which invariably had holes and the birds used to feed off the spillage. Now, with rice being transported in plastic bags, the birds have been deprived of their food," said T Murugavel of the NGO Environment Monitoring and Action Initiative.
He also noted that Sparrows are found in cities, towns and suburbs where the older style buildings and houses "have spaces for the birds to nest, unlike modern houses."
(The Times of India, 16 October 2011)
We look forward to the results of the survey and the conversation efforts it generates.