Indian Birding fair: Working to save sparrows in Jaipur

The Birding Fair activists are working to save sparrows in Jaipur and have so far supplied about 1,200 sparrow nest boxes in the city. 

And a recent citizens’ review found that the drive had helped add a significant 8,000 sparrows to the environment. The boxes allow two sparrows to mate inside undisturbed, and when the eggs are hatched, the parents can go looking for feed while their eggs stay safe from crows and other predators.

According to noted environmentalist, and the soul behind the Indian Birding Fair programme, Harsh Vardhan, house sparrow numbers have more than halved in the last 25 years across India. As green spaces in cities give way to concrete constructions and pesticides cause pollution, the sparrow has found it hard to survive.

The nest boxes are typically distributed during the breeding season that occurs twice a year — from June till August and from February to March-April. Each clutch can yield three to five chicks.

Importantly for the programme’s success in the Pink City, the drive has drawn the attention of real estate builders, who are gradually beginning to understand that sparrows and humans need to co-exist, and are redesigning the way homes are built by incorporating more trees and gardens and less glass and chrome.

With this phase proving a big success in Jaipur, both Vardhan says that it will now be easier for conservationists to start the second phase with redesigned nest boxes, and launch a fresh drive at the 20th Indian Birding Fair in February 2017.

Read full report in The Hindu
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