Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Indian Temple Town Sets Up Sparrow City

Sparrows find refuge in Indian temple town
News Date: 20th February 2012

Sonepur is the first district in India to conserve house sparrows. People here began a drive Sunday to conserve the bird species, which is on the verge of extinction.

The venture to save the dwindling population of house sparrows is jointly taken up by the district administration and the department of forest and environment.

Around 100 artificial nests specially modeled for nesting of house sparrows have been installed on the roof of the Gundicha temple, which is a hub of house sparrows. Some nests were distributed among the local residents who showed interest in the conservation drive. An awareness meeting on the conservation of house sparrows was also held.

Sonepur, also known as Subarnapur, is a town and district headquarters of Subarnapur district of Orissa, eastern India.

Sushil Tripathy, Sonepur forest range officer and coordinator of the drive, said conservationists worldwide were concerned about the dwindling population of house sparrows. "The dwindling population of house sparrows is of global concern and several campaigns and drives are being taken up to save these birds. Sonepur is the first district in the country where an official initiative has been made to conserve house sparrows. There are instances of individual efforts in Berhampur and Keonjhar, but this is the first official initiative," Tripathy said.

He added that two environmentalists who worked for conservation of house sparrows in Berhampur had surveyed the population of house sparrows in the district. "They found that there were no signs of the birds except in a few villages. In Sonepur, the birds were found in very few numbers. They had prescribed the model nest, which would serve as the habitat of these birds. Around 100 terracotta nests were built for the nesting. Some more were distributed among the local residents to use in their homes," he said.

Tripathy said the administration was planning to take the initiative to other parts of the district soon. "We will select seven villages from each blocks of Sonepur where there is a population of the bird. Soon we will involve them in the drive by providing them with the required number of artificial nests. This will pay off in the long run," he said.

According to environmentalist Ghasiram Panda, the dwindling population of the bird is because of the loss of their natural habitat.

"If we can provide them with an alternative habitat, their population may grow. In this respect, it is a unique and innovative idea to provide them with artificial nests, which have all the facilities of nesting. It is important to save these birds from extinction", Panda said.

Source: GNA

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