The earth is such a complete system that all the creatures are inter-dependent on each other. It thus comes across as no surprise that the threats faced by one affect the other. With the changing world and changing lifestyle some of the smaller creatures that were dependant on the previous setup for survival face a threat. The house sparrow population is among one of those creatures that slowly and steadily face the extinction threat. In this article we will try to discuss the reasons behind the decline and try to find some ways to help their numbers grow. It is after all only a peaceful co existence of all creatures that will help in saving the planet.
Some important reasons behind the decline of sparrows
Sparrows are known to live in the nooks and corners of houses but during the day a lot of their time is spent in the trees. With a decrease in the number of trees due to rapid urbanization the number of sparrows too has been affected. Among many other damaging effects the rise in deforestation also wrecks havoc in the numbers of sparrows around us.
- Modern architecture trends: In the earlier days the architecture was very different than it is today. Thick walls and large roofs and spacious ventilators were the places in which the sparrows could dwell. An important factor affecting the house sparrow population is that the modern houses are no longer built that way. The new houses are stylish in design and the walls are thin for good looks and cost cutting.
Apart from this, the new houses also have smaller roofs and many do not even keep a ventilator anymore due to air conditioning. This is the most important among the reasons behind the decline of sparrows as they have been rendered homeless with no place to build their nests.
- Overuse of pesticides:
While sparrows are omnivorous they mostly enjoy a diet of grains. However the baby sparrows need to be fed with the small insects for the useful protein that helps them grow. The overuse of insecticides and pesticides has ensured that the number of such insects has significantly decreased. The house sparrow disappearing has much to do with the decrease in the numbers of mosquitoes and other insects which lead to the baby sparrows starving to death. The infant mortality rate for the sparrows has grown a lot over the years.
- Lesser availability of food grain: In the earlier days the gunny bags were used to carry grains around. They were also sold in the open in the open air markets. With the culture of supermarkets and processed and canned goods setting in there is a lesser availability of food grain for the sparrows to peck at. This too is among the very important reasons behind the decline of sparrows. Their lack of food coupled with their lack of habitat is making life conditions extremely difficult. No wonder they have made the IUCN list of threatened species alongside the likes of leopards and tigers.
- Mobile phone towers:
Did you think that the mobile phone towers only cause harm to you? Well you were wrong because the mobile phone tower radiations are harmful for many other small creatures and sparrows. The reason is that the birds take the help of the earth’s magnetic field to navigate around places. The radiation tampers with these magnetic field and as a result navigation becomes very difficult for the birds. Mobile tower radiations are thus responsible for the steadily declining number of the sparrows and sooner or later we have to take notice of this problem.
- Bigger birds: We have created a situation where the survival of the fittest has become the norm to survive. It is thus no surprise that in such a situation the bigger and stronger birds like the pigeons crows etc are emerging successful. With the decrease in habitats and food supplies the small sparrow has to compete with bigger and stronger birds for the same and this is among the many reasons behind the decline of sparrows. The spaces on the roofs are taken up by the pigeons and the little food available is consumed by the crows.
How to save the sparrow and improve its condition?
The situation is so grim that unless there is a significant human intervention there would be no betterment in the condition of the sparrows. To help solve the problem of house sparrow disappearing certain things can be paid attention to. For instance you could start off with providing some grains and a bird bath for the sparrows to rehydrate themselves and have a good drink and a small meal. If you start with this practice soon more and more sparrows will flock to your house and with this small step you will have helped a significant sparrow population.
Provide nests and other natural conditions: We saw that the habitat loss was among the main reasons behind the decline of sparrows. To solve this problem you can keep some holes while building your house. If that is too much of a problem, you can also make the artificial nests which will house the sparrows. The sparrows are known to breed four times a year and if by some means we can help the next few generations survive the sparrow species would surely escape the threat of extinction. The growing of plants which are native to the place too can be of great help and locally in your garden or yard avoid using insecticides so that the sparrow chicks can get their meal.
We hope that this article was insightful and you learnt the reasons for the house sparrow disappearing. In your own little way try to do your bit for these small birds so that your next generation can once again wake up to the chirp of sparrows. Since you know all about how to save the sparrows it is time to implement them so that the sparrows are not wiped out from the face of the planet.