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Bid to raise awareness about urban biodiversity

By STAFF Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 20 - Environmental NGO Help Earth in collaboration with the Kamrup (Metro) district administration, State Forest Department and the Assam State Biodiversity Board, has taken up an initiative � �City�s Animal� � to raise awareness regarding urban biodiversity. For the �City�s Animal�, three candidate animals � black soft-shell turtle, greater adjutant stork and Ganges river dolphin � with all having highest conservation concerns, were selected.

From these animals, one will be elected through public voting as �City�s Animal� � the flagship animal of the city with the larger objective of spreading awareness and saving urban wildlife. The website is through which the voting can be done. Voting lines will close on April 30.

Meanwhile, various organisations today observed World Sparrow Day � an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organisations across the world.

Each year, it is observed on March 20, and it was first observed in the year 2010. The main aim of the initiative is to raise awareness regarding the house sparrow and other common birds of the urban ecosystem, and assess the threats to their populations.

�Due to rapid urbanisation and the rise of multi-storeyed buildings, sparrows and other urban birds are fast losing their home. Our old Assam-type houses had nooks and corners to accommodate nests of our feathered friends, especially the sparrow, which is almost non-existent today as RCC houses have replaced Assam-type ones,� Jayaditya Purkayastha of Help Age said.

He added that with the cutting down of trees to accommodate residential structures, sparrows are fast losing their shelter and breeding space.

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