World Sparrow Day: Threatened species cries for conservation

As house sparrows become a rare sight in most places of Odisha these days, conservationists demand adequate measures including state bird tags to protect the species. Rabindra Nath Sahu, who has been working relentlessly for the conservation of the house sparrows in his seaside village Purunabandha in Ganjam for over a decade, said the bird population has grown marginally in some parts of the state due to the efforts at local level. However, it is not sufficient.

The state government should consider if the threatened bird species could be declared as one of the state birds and work out a plan for its conservation, he said.A large number of children of the present generation in the state may not even know if such a bird exists, Sahu said. Conservation of the species through the distribution of artificial nests and earthen pots has helped in reviving the population of the species. However, it needs to be scaled up in which the state government’s support plays a key role, Sahu said. Sahu started the drive from Purunabandha village in 2007 and it has now spread to over 17 districts.

In Purunabandha village, where the house sparrow population was just seven in 2007, has now crossed over 400. Some other places have also seen a growth in population of the bird.  “We, however, have managed to sustain this drive only with the help of a few conservationists at the local level. This must be scaled up and requires state support,” he said.

To mark World Sparrow Day on Monday, Sahu said the Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee members will organise an awareness programme among school children and also distribute artificial nests among villagers.

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