Swiftly Disappearing House Sparrows
It is safe to say that sparrows are the first birds that we started to recognise when we were growing up as we saw many of them in our streets and called them ‘Gauraiya’. Sparrows have always considered humans as their friends and the relationship between humans and sparrows dates back 11,000 years, according to a 2018 Royal Society of London report. Today House Sparrow is on the verge of extinction and listed on the red list of endangered species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). ‘According to some studies, the sparrow population in the country has decreased by 80% in the last three decades’, said the deputy director of the Bombay Natural History Society, VibhuPrakash in an interview with TOI. How did we reach here? House sparrow populations are declining due to the unfriendly architechture, toxic fertilisers in our crops, noise pollution that disrupts acoustic ecology, and poisonous exhaust fumes from vehicles according to conservationists. Although there is no solid evidence that the digital revolution has contributed to their declining population, common people believe it to be no accident that the house sparrow began to vanish in the late 1990s, when mobile phones were introduced to India. In light of its declining population, several steps like celebrating World Sparrow Day have been taken to raise awareness about the protection of sparrows. The day was first introduced in 2010 by the Nature Forever Society of India and the Eco-Sys Action Foundation of France and is observed on 20th March every year since then. The theme for 2022 World Sparrow Day is “I Love Sparrows”.