GUWAHATI, March 20 - Even as World Sparrow Day was celebrated across the globe today, the dwindling population of the house sparrow � once found in abundance across urban landscapes � continues to concern bird-lovers and naturalists alike.
Space for the house sparrow, which has traditionally been living in close proximity to humans, has shrunk drastically as concrete structures have replaced conventional dwellings.
In Assam for example, Assam-type houses used to provide ample space for the bird for nesting, but with these houses rapidly disappearing from the urban landscape, the harrowed sparrow has been left with less and less space for nesting. The recent years, thankfully, have seen citizens taking renewed interest in the little bird and securing for it a safe future, with initiatives undertaken to provide the birds with nesting space.
In one such initiative, NGO Help Earth, in association with the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), installed nesting boxes for the birds at Shraddhanjali Kanan this morning, on the occasion of World Sparrow Day. The initiative was inaugurated by Dr M Angamuthu, CEO (GMDA).
Jayaditya Purkayastha of Help Earth said that since last year, the NGO has been engaged in a campaign for saving the sparrow. �As part of our campaign, we have so far distributed around 300 wooden boxes among the citizens. The encouraging thing is that the birds are using these artificial nests for roosting and raising their families,� he said.
Purkayastha said that the colourful boxes installed at the park were basically for creating awareness. �The nests we are distributing among the citizens are wood coloured,� he said.
Every year, World Sparrow Day is celebrated on March 20 to raise awareness regarding conservation of sparrows. Sparrows are an integral part of the urban ecosystem and render a wide variety of ecosystem services.
�Due to rapid urbanization and deforestation, sparrows are fast losing their homes that Guwahati once provided them with. The Assam-type houses of yesteryears provided sparrows with nooks and corners for nesting but the present-day concrete structure have denied them of the facility,� Purkayastha said.