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Special forest area created to conserve and revive sparrows – Delhi’s State bird

By creating a special forest area for house sparrows in Delhi, authorities expect to revive the State bird (Pic. Courtesy cityspidey.com)

Once the house sparrows were all over Delhi and National Capital Region but today they are a rare sight. That is going to change as authorities are making all-out effort to bring Delhi’s State bird back and for that a Gauraiya Gram has been established in Garhi Mandu city forest, in eastern part of the city.

Sharing details about the place, Sohail Madan, Bombay Natural History Society’s Delhi head, said: “The spunky bird thrives in places that have plenty of grains and insects. But the use of pesticides and insecticides has led to a scarcity of food for them. The toxic chemicals have driven them away. We have planted native berries like karonda and kundni, grasses and shrubs, and kept feeder boxes, artificial nests and earthen pots in the sparrow village.

Since these birds' diet consists of insects and worms, two insect hostels have been created in Gauraiya Gram.

A Forest Department official describing this initiative as the first ever in NCR said it aims to make people aware about protecting and conserving the State bird. The decline in their population was attributed to urbanisation, use of pesticides and insecticides and electromagnetic radiation.

According to Madan, sparrows are known as passer domesticus because they stay very close to human beings and their habitats. That implies that what is not conducive for the birds is not humans either.

The official said: “A baseline survey will be conducted after six months and thereafter, we will count the number of sparrows after a year to establish the impact of our conservation efforts.”

Also read: Seven States in India have over 200 species of birds, shows latest bird count