World Sparrow Day: Once more the chirping of sparrows echoes
Ten percent increase in the population of domestic sparrow, marked in the regions of Garhmukteshwar, Nazibabad, Haridwar, Dehradun and Roorkee, has brought cheer to the bird scientists based in Haridwar. The dying chirps of the sparrow or ‘Goraiya’ as it is commonly called have once again made their presence felt by the efforts of scientists of Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya.
In 2006, a special session was held in the international conference of Hamburg, Germany where concern was raised by the ornithologists on the dwindling number of sparrows across the world and ways to conserve their population. In 2007, Professor Dinesh Bhatt, registrar of Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, and head of Zoology and Environmental Science department started with counting the number of the sparrow. The study had revealed 20% decline in sparrow population in the regions of Delhi, Haridwar, Dehradun, Saharanpur, Nazibabad, Kotdwar and Roorkee while things were a little better in the hill regions of Srinagar, Gopeshwar, Karnprayag, Rudraprayag and Gaurikund with a smaller decline in sparrow population as compared to the plain areas.
With these observations in view, a team led by Bhatt started working in districts of Uttarakhand and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. Wooden boxes were installed and placed at different location where the domestic sparrow started making nests.
Speaking to The Pioneer, Dinesh Bhatt said, “Till 2013, there was no increase marked in the sparrow population. In 2014, four percent increase was marked and in 2018, the figure rose up to 10%.”
The rapid urbanisation had resulted in shrinking of the natural habitats of these birds. The fast pace of the population explosion and unplanned construction had resulted in the ‘Goraiya’ getting extinct. As per a research study conducted by the team of scientists of Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, there was a marked decline in the number of Goraiya across all the cities of Uttarakhand in the past one decade. However, in the rural areas, the bird could still be spotted, said Bhatt.
Suggesting ways to improve the number of species, Professor Vinay Sethi from Uttarakhand Sanskrit University said, “The people must build natural boundary walls instead of concrete walls and put artificial nests made by the laboratory of Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, to attract Goraiya.”
Thursday, 21 March 2019 | Radhika Nagrath | Dehradun
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