Today is World Sparrow Day, the tiny bird that we seldom see nowadays. House sparrows are considered as one of the most ‘human-friendly’ birds in the world. With advancing technologies and rapid urbanisation, sparrows are facing a grave threat of losing out on their natural habitat. Previously, house sparrows were seen almost everywhere, be in market, residence, park, or schools. Now, one finds himself lucky if he spots a house sparrow amongst the slits of concrete blocks.
While several non-profit organisations have taken steps to protect these birds, one man in Assam stepped up and motivated an entire village to protect house sparrows. Prabal Saikia, the chief scientist at the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Assam Agricultural University at North Lakhimpur, after finding an extensive survey in 2009, found that the population of the house sparrow has plummeted, reported Mongabay.
He said that the decline in house sparrows is because of the degradation of the environment around us. He said that the decline of house sparrow is a bad sign for farmers as it thrives on small insects. He also added that destruction of their habitats, cramped buildings, radiation from phone towers are various reasons that have lowered their number. In 2012, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has declared it endangered and placed it in the Red Data list of endangered species.
To increase the population of house sparrows, Saikia in a little village called Borbali Samua, in Lakhimpur came up with a low-cost solution. He believed that the population of the house sparrow would rise if the villagers adopted low-cost nest boxes. He prefered cardbox material as it only costs Rs 10. Saikia distributed over 20,000 boxes for free in villages across Assam. He further said that one could even make a nest box with shoeboxes. Jayanta Neog, an owner of a rice mill, became one of the principal conservators of the sparrow in this village. He started distributing nestboxes in every household which were distributed by Saikia. Even the children in the village are very protective of these sparrows and accepted nest boxes.
Neog claimed that he has seen a significant rise of awareness amongst the common people in the village. He said that it is the common man who can save sparrows. He also said that people need to uptake organic gardening, planting hedges and adopt artificial nest boxes for the betterment of sparrows.
The Logical Indian appreciates both Neog and Dr Sakia’s work for saving the house sparrows. In today’s world where we crib about big house and proper network, we tend to forget that our such desires are resulting in depletion of several species. We would like to ask our readers to take inspiration from these two and help the house sparrows.
Also Read: Meet The Benaras Family That Has Transformed Their Home Into An Abode Of Hundreds Of Sparrows
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