World sparrow day
Sparrows were commonly found near residential areas due to abundance of food and safe sites for nesting. Recently studies have shown a remarkable decline in the bird population in cities like MUMBAI. While stating the importance of these birds, Some of the scientists and citizens have felt that sparrows are to cities just like tigers in a forest.
World sparrow day is a movement initiated as a citizen science project By Mr. Mohammed Dilawar President, Nature Forever Society (NFS), a crusader for the sparrow as well as other common flora and fauna in urban habitats to find out the causes for disappearing sparrows.
This is an effort to create awareness about our changing lifestyle that is changing the habitats required for these little birds in urban areas. Some of the reasons for decreasing sparrow and other bird population in urban areas are as follows:
1. Felling trees- Due to increasing construction and road development projects several trees are cut while making new highways and transport projects like metros, monorail etc. This leads to mass destruction of their habitats. There is hardly any place for making nest in the city.
2. Concretization- Due to concretization, there is decrease in the gardens, hedge plants, shrubs and trees in the cities. Sparrows and other birds enjoy dust bath and like the sprinkling water. Since the open spaces are concretized there is hardly any dust is available for the birds.
3. New building designs: The new buildings are covered with glassy sheets. They do not have nooks and corners, the preferred sites for birdnesting. This is one of the major reasons for decreasing bird population in Mumbai.
4. Lack of indigenous trees with larger canopies: The trees planted in new buildings are mostly nonnative palm species which grow straight. Since there are fewer trees with good canopy and shade, the temperature is also on rise in the cities. This causes heat stroke even in case of birds.
5. The choice of herbs and shrubs has shifted to ornamental species from the native plants like adulsa,mehendi etc. Native plants are the natural habitats of sparrows, providing them insects such as aphids to feed on. Sparrows need a diet of insects in their formative years to grow into healthy adults.
6. The malls and AC supermarkets: Earlier days , the grains were stored in open gunny bags and ample food was available to birds near grocery shops.Nowadays the grain is stored in small packets in the supermarkets which is not readily available to birds.
7. The garbage in the city : The large amount of garbage on the open dumps attracts the predators like kites, crows which prey upon the tiny sparrows.
8. The mobile towers and radiation pollution:
The increase in the number of cellphone users and mobile network is another cause for the declining number of birds in urban areas. The effects range from damage to the immune and nervous system of sparrows to interference with their navigating sensors.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1 Hang a bird - nest box and a feeder with the right kind of grain in it, to encourage sparrows to feed. This way, you’d provide them with a constant source of food.
2 Plant native species of plants to help build a sparrow-friendly habitat and to promote insect population.
3 Set up a water bath, especially in summer, to allow the birds to drink and bathe in your balcony and windows
4 Spread the word and encourage friends and family to save the sparrow.
Dr. Sugandha Shetye
Save Earth; Save Yourself!
There is need to keep in mind the grage drought situation in all parts of Maharashtra.
Misuse and abuse of water from us can result in the next upcoming months crisis.
Various parts of Maharashtra, especially Marathwada, are facing acute water scarcity and we are mature enough to decide against celebrating Holi with water, which is precious.
Taking into consideration the fact that people from a few parts of the state have to walk for miles to fetch water, it would be wrong on the part of anyone to celebrate Holi and waste water.
खोल विहीरीत जिथे पाणी तळाशी गेलेले आहे, आज लहान मुले घोटभर पाण्यासाठी खाली उतरत जीव गमावत आहेत.
Are we making our children sensitive about such issues?
We, under our Project Initiative 'Save Earth, Save Yourself' of SAI PRASANNA Foundation, request you all to request your family and friends to play holy with dry colors which can be cleaned without water.
Dr. Sugandha Shetye
Save Earth, Save Yourself