World Sparrow Day 2024: Mumbai Faces Drastic Decline In Sparrow Population

World Sparrow Day 2024: Mumbai Faces Drastic Decline In Sparrow Population

The population of sparrows is drastically decreasing in a city like Mumbai, where concretization takes over the majority of the city.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 11:11 PM IST
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World Sparrow Day 2024: Mumbai Faces Drastic Decline In Sparrow Population |

Mumbai: The chirping of the tiny passerine bird, which used to light up the morning, is slowly fading away from the cities. The population of sparrows is drastically decreasing in a city like Mumbai, where concretization takes over the majority of the city. The birds which hopped around the balconies and windows of the houses are slowly vanishing into extinction.

To increase awareness about the sparrows and the threats they face, World Sparrow Day is observed globally on March 20 every year. Mumbaikars especially need to increase awareness amongst themselves regarding this tiny bird, which is slowly going into the verge of extinction as the human population is increasing, although the bird enjoys association with human settlement.

Bird experts point out the drastic changes in human lifestyle which have affected the population of sparrows around us. People need to understand the animal’s behaviour and their preference of surroundings. Sparrows specifically need grass and tree twigs to construct their nests and cotton-like flowers to create a soft lining in their nest, which are no longer available due to the reducing number of native plants.

They need soil to clean parasites from their body which is also not available due to concretization of land. Moreover, the sparrows require a safe space around human settlements to place their nest which is also hard to find in a city like Mumbai due to the change in building structures and increasing skyscrapers.

Parvish Pandya, former zoology professor and consultant at Sanctuary Nature Foundation, said, “Birds like sparrows have been living with us since our cities and villages were formed and they have tolerated all the changes that we have gone through, living with the changes that occurred. But in the last 400 years, we have changed our native trees with foreign trees and in the last 50 to 100 years, we have changed our lifestyle to such an extent that it has adversely affected the sparrows out of our knowledge.”

Humans have welcomed changes in their life which has affected the population of bats which cleaned mosquitoes from our surroundings and the same is happening with the sparrows which clean insects. The wrath that the humans have incurred upon these birds is irreversible but there can be attempts to create a safe and friendly environment for these tiny birds.

Shardul Bajikar, naturalist and education officer with Bombay Natural History Society, said, “The sliding windows and glass buildings have snatched the opportunity from the sparrows to create their nests around our houses. This cannot be changed entirely but we can at least avoid more concretization of the city. Especially in the cities, we should place artificial nest boxes around our houses as sparrows feel safe to live in them.”

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