I am sparrow. Humans also call me as Chitukuruvi and Gauraiya in India. I am indigenous to Asia, Africa and Europe. Few hundred years ago, I was taken to the USA and Australia, where I adopted myself to those natural conditions and urban environment.
Earlier, I used to live in human habitations, both rural and urban areas, however due to increasing globalization I got adapted to live in surrogate nests, specially created for me by a few humans who still care for us. We feel happy over steps taken by Nature Forever Society in celebrating “World Sparrow Day” for us and few villages like Purunabandh near Rushikulya rookery in Odisha, where conservation efforts were taken up by all local people with lots of love. When Delhi Government announced us as the State bird, we felt really honored.
In spite of such efforts here and there, our population is dwindling. Let me tell you few reasons for that,
Felling of trees:
Many trees are considered as hindrance in urban areas. The western civilization and industrial revolution were the first in the history that initiated huge felling of trees and constructing establishments assuming that tree lands are uncivilized and they needed to be civilized. Even now it is blindly followed by you leading to degradation of land and desertification in long run that affects my habitat.
Lack of cavity nesting:
People have no ethical concern towards birds as they don’t ensure home for us. With declining numbers of trees and match box like buildings without cavities for nesting we lost our homes.
Absence of Hedgerows:
Earlier homes in rural areas were constructed with organic materials such as sticks, stones, grass and other agricultural residues where we could set up our nests. However nowadays houses constructed with concrete , bricks and glass that doesn’t allow me to even enter house.
Modern grocery storage:
Earlier grains were stored in sacks in open warehouses. But now they are packed in plastic bags and stored in air conditioned rooms. Hence we don’t have any access to food.
Chemical fertilizers in Agricultural production:
Application of chemical fertilizers has changed our feeding habits and the hostile environment leading to declination of our population.
Humans have increased the quantity of their garbage and have failed to manage it properly. This has increased the number of predators which prey on us.
What can you do to protect me:
- Adopt a Nest box (Surrogate cavity)
- Plant native tree species
- Set up a bowl with water for drinking at your home balcony and corners of windows.
- Spread the word about our status and do create awareness regarding our protection measures.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed us on ‘Least Concern‘ on IUCN Red List. Celebrating World Sparrow day should not be on dialogue alone dear friends… You should take necessary steps to conserve us, Government and people should go hand in hand to protect us or else we may slowly become extinct. As Tigers for the forest we are bio indicators for your urban environment. The more numbers we are, the more happy we will be and safe you will be. Bye.. Bye..
The author, Purushothaman is an Agribusiness Management graduate who raises his voice against unethical environmental and political actions.
Photos by Bhargava Krishna, studying MBA Production Management at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Thirunelveli.