PATNA: Experts have claimed that the house sparrow, which is the state bird of Bihar, is disappearing gradually and steadily in urban areas due to habitat loss and diminishing ecological resources for sustenance.
According to birdwatchers, factors like urbanisation, replacement of ventilators with air conditioners in houses, radiation from mobile towers, pollution, use of insecticides and pesticides in farms and emission of harmful gases have led to a drastic decline in the population of sparrows.
“The radiation from mobile towers hampers the birds’ reproduction process as a result of which their eggs hatch prematurely,” state coordinator of the Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN), Arvind Mishra, says.
In 2012, the Bombay Natural History Society had launched Citizen Sparrow, an online database targeted at recording the presence and absence of house sparrows.
“The database suggests that the once-omnipresent sparrows are not as common as they used to be. Their population has declined considerably. That said, the situation is not all gloom and doom. We can still take measures to revive the population of sparrows,” Arvind claims and adds that a rise in the population of sunbirds was witnessed during the Covid-induced lockdown.
Tarumitra director Father Tony Pendanath lays emphasis on raising awareness among the people about the declining sparrow population. “Earlier, sparrows could be seen in all houses, but their population has dipped significantly in the last five years,” he says.
Meanwhile, Tarumitra, an organization to promote ecological sensitivity, will organise a programme on Friday as part of which students from different institutes will take part in activities like painting, clay modelling, and poem recitation. A short movie on sparrows will also be screened on the occasion.
The Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, commonly known as the Patna zoo, will also organise a number of events for school and college students on World Sparrow Day.
Principal secretary of the environment, forest and climate change department, Dipak Kumar Singh, told this newspaper on Thursday, “Activities like pot hanging, wall graffiti, and exhibition of Madhubani paintings will be conducted and people working for the conservation of sparrows felicitated.”