Reasons for the decline
Sparrows are disappearing are disappearing rapidly from many parts of the country The reasons for the decline of the house sparrow (Passer
/domesticus indicus/) are many, say the experts. “The exact reason cannot actually be pinpointed. Studies show that it may be because of the destruction of
its habitat, what with increasing urbanisation and the supermarket culture taking over local markets, lack of insects that are vital for it's young, and even electromagnetic pollution from mobile phone towers
that harm its reproductive cycle,” explains Suresh.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests had set up a committee headed by
the director of the Bombay Natural History Society, Dr Asad Rahmani, to study the possible impact of "radiation from communication towers on
wildlife, birds and bees". According to the report submitted by the committee, the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from mobile towers was responsible for the decreasing umber of sparrows and bees.
Referring to a study conducted by Punjab University, the committee cited
an instance in which 50 fetuses were spoilt within 5.30 minutes when exposed to EMR. Apart from that, the sparrows affected by the radiation lose procreative power and sense of direction.
Sparrows are disappearing specially in Assam where electro-magnetic radiation from communication towers, use of leaded
petrol in vehicles and overuse of pesticides in agriculture have been cited as some causes by scientists. Chief scientist of the Regional Agriculture Research Centre in
Lakhimpur, Prabal Saikia, said, "It is a fact that sparrows are becoming scarce throughout Assam - both house and tree sparrows." Saikia said his research on house sparrows conducted in Guwahati and
Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Sonitpur, Jorhat and Tinsukia districts found that they had been sighted in greater number in the Dikhowmukh area of Upper
Assam along the banks of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries in Dikhow and Mitong.
Sparrows were once a common sight, these little birds that are so intrinsic
a part of our larger existence. But we began to take them for granted and ceased to take notice of them. Today most of us would be hard
pressed to spot the humble house sparrow, known as Chiriya, angadikuruvi, arikkilli or veethukilli in local parlance. World Sparrow Day, observed on March 20 every year since
2010, to remind us of our close connection to the one bird that has, over centuries, successfully adapted itself to human life.
World Sparrow Day 2015
With an aim to raise awareness of the house sparrow and other common birds to urban environments and of threats to their populations, World
Sparrow Day is observed on March 20, every year.
House Sparrow has been listed as *Least Concern* on the *International
Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List