The once ubiquitous sparrow which is fast disappearing from the urban milieu came to spotlight as World Sparrow Day was observed in the city on Saturday.
Activists of Jeev Daya Jain Charity (JDJC) which has launched a “Save Sparrow’’ initiative to revive the sparrow population in the city, distributed earthen and bamboo bird houses, bamboo bird feeders and water bowls to the public.
In all, nearly 200 sets of the earthen bird houses and water bowls were distributed at Kukkarahalli lake main entrance opposite the horse stable.
That the sparrow numbers are dwindling across India has been documented and there are individual initiatives to revive the bird population. Experts and ornithologists attribute the dwindling populationto various factors including rapid urbanisation and disappearance of habitat suitable to the bird and non-availability of food as fruit bearing trees have been replaced by ornamental plants and the laws and gardens are manicured which does not support insects to sustain sparrows.
However, there are pockets within the city such as Agrahara, Ramanuja Road, and Devaraja Market area. This apart sparrow population can be found in rural areas and even on the city outskirts including Hinkal, Yelwal, Alanahalli, and Bogadi though their numbers are on the decline.
Kokila Jain, who has launched the Save Sparrow initiative in Mysuru, said in certain pockets of Mysuru, there population has seen an upswing, especially in Devaraja Market. She said they have distributed a large number of earthen and bamboo bird houses apart from regularly providing the shopkeepers with bird feeders. Roshan Baig, a shopkeeper in Devaraja Market, said the bird numbers have increased after being provided with feed and bird houses.
Incidentally, her efforts to revive the sparrow population bagged the second place among a slew of entries to a competition held as part of World Earth Day 2020 and conducted by Rajasthan Forestry and Wildlife Training Institute at Jaipur, last year. The project was launched in 2019 and entailed distribution of bird houses and feeder bottles in areas such as Ittigegud and Nazarbad which had the potential to revive the sparrow population.