House sparrows facing extinction in Punjab

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Ludhiana, Nov. 15 (ANI): Ornithologists and forest officers in Punjab have expressed concern over the dwindling population of some popular birds, including the house sparrow.

Disappearance of the common house sparrow from the urban areas is not something new.

A few years ago, it rang quite some alarm bells in London when the population of sparrows fell by up to 85 per cent.

Tejdeep Kaur Kler, a Zoologist at Punjab Agricultural University, says: "First reason is the habitat loss. We are loosing its nesting sites as there is a loss of shrub vegetation. Second reason is the overuse of pesticides in agriculture. Third reason is that there is a decline in its reproductive efficiency because of the egg sheath infector."

"Fourth reason is climatic change. Another reason can be anti-knocking agent like petrol. It has been established that this anti-knocking agent is decreasing the population of insects which is the main food to its nestling during breeding period," she added.

Even as the house sparrow is facing extinction, authorities have not taken any concrete steps on this front.

"As of now, no serious action has been taken on this issue. Before an action is taken on any case, a lot of research and investigation needs to be done on it. Presently, we are doing a lot of research on it and are trying to figure out the answers to questions like how many birds are left and the reasons behind the extinction," said Vishal Chauhan, Divisional Forest Officer, Ludhiana.

In bygone days, living in close proximity with humans, sparrows used to build their nests below tiled roofs.

With contemporary architecture making a clean sweep in cities, tiled roofs became a thing of the past, and sparrows lost prospective nesting spots. By: Karan Kapoor (ANI)

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