Wednesday, 28 March 2012

House Sparrows Thrive in Sonepur, India

ibn live, 21 March 2012


ROURKELA: In its sustained effort to save the house sparrows from extinction, the Bonai sub-division in Sundargarh district organised a series of programmes to mark the World Sparrows Day on Tuesday.

�This was aimed at ensuring collective effort to help save the tiny bird. Bonai Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) AK Mishra who has been instrumental in conservation of these sparrows, roped in schoolchildren and traditional drama troupes to raise awareness on the issue.

�A rally taken out through the sub-divisional headquarters was followed by a function at the ITDA hall. Over 300 schoolchildren and drama troupes participated. Nearly 40 specially designed nesting pots were distributed among the children to attract house sparrows. The DFO asserted that more nesting pots would be supplied to people who wish to help protect the birds.

�The programme shed light on conservation measures and the threats that these birds face. Factors like increased use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers in gardens and farmlands led to the vanishing of the tiny birds.�

Focus was also laid on loss of natural habitat of house sparrows in human settlements due to concrete jungles.

�Among others, Bonai Sub-collector D Prashant Reddy spoke.
Mishra proudly claims that the number of house sparrows has gone past 40, besides, nearly 20 Munia birds, eight weaver birds, a few Maynas and pigeons are regular visitors to his garden.

SONEPUR: The days when sparrow nests dotted almost every house in the neighbourhood as well as public places like bus bays and railway stations, where they lived in colonies and survived on foodgrains and tiny worms, may be back soon. The diminutive house sparrows are now be found in large numbers here, an encouraging sign for the bird lovers.

The initiative of conservationist and Sonepur District Collector Gagan Bihar Swain which started a month back is paying dividends. As part of the initiative, administration hung hundreds of artificial nests, made of terracotta, across Sonepur town.

Worried over the decline in sparrows, once found in abundance, Swain took interest in their conservation with the support of the Forest Department and ornithologists and wildlife enthusiasts Lingraj Panda and Rabi Kumar Rout.

Sparrows are helpful in keeping the eco-system in check as they feast on insects such as caterpillars and beetles. These insects can destroy garden crops and fruit trees, while other insects, such as dipteran (double-winged) flies, can spread disease.

�Meanwhile, Swain convened a meeting on Tuesday evening to chalk out future plans to save the sparrows which was attended by Sonepur DFO R K Pradhan and Sonepur Municipal Chairman Prakash Sahu.

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