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Lack of soil, nesting sites hit sparrows in Pune

PUNE: The humble house sparrow was once the commonest of birds flitting across the neighbourhood trees. Now, sparrows are a rare sight in city areas.
Some blame cell phone tower radiation for the decline in their numbers, but environmentalists say there is no clinical evidence of it.

Three major reasons could be the reason for their decline, all related to habitat destruction.

“Soil paths are converted into paved or cement pathways. Birds have an important ritual — they roll about in the soil. Areas the place they are able to do this are vanishing,” mentioned biodiversity expert Dharmaraj Patil. He is among the administrators of Jeevit Nadhi, an NGO running for the recovery of rivers.

The sparrows’ meals base may be dwindling. “Only soil can nurture a thriving insect population. That is the primary meals of all birds of that measurement. No chicken is solely vegetarian. They prey on bugs and spiders for protein. Since soil has the entire nutrients that nurture bugs, its absence will impact the sparrows,” he added.

Lack of sites for nesting and roosting too has hit the birds badly. Earlier, wadas in the city made it easy for the sparrows to nest. Now, the whole lot is manufactured from strengthened concrete and sparrows hardly to find any sites to nest. “Sparrows need bushes and trees to roost. They are a gregarious species and always are living jointly in bushes or trees,” Patil mentioned.

Mohammed Dilawar, who runs Nature Forever Society that leads campaigns for sparrow conservation, mentioned, counting sparrows becomes tricky on panorama ranges.

“Historically, sparrows are counted with other folks’s participation. Citizen science remains to be a brand new thing in India. Currently, eBird is a citizens’ science programme. It has many participants from Karnataka and Kerala. In Maharashtra, other folks contribute from Pune, Mumbai and a few different pockets.”

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