Unique campaign to save sparrows in Hyderabad

"The sight of a sparrow has become a rarity in the city due to the destruction of habitat. With the city becoming a concrete jungle, the number of sparrows has come down drastically," B Ushodayam, Programme Officer, Centre for Environment Education, who is leading the 'Save Sparrow Campaign' said.

"Open and bushy areas are needed for the nesting of sparrows. The birds also nest in old buildings with cement pipes. Now, there are very few open and bushy areas in the city and plastic pipes have replaced cement ones. So, sparrows do not nest," he said. According to some preliminary studies, cell phone towers installed in residential localities discourage the sparrows to nest, he said.

Aiming to conserve the sparrows, Ushodayam and other colleagues started the campaign two months ago. The activists of this group appeal to the citizens to come forward and do the bit to save the bird.

"Whoever comes forward to join us, we will provide them with a small carton box that can be kept in balconies, roof shades or any other convenient place. The box would be sealed and a hole made to it enable the birds to nest. Grains like puffed rice can be put inside," Ushodayam said.

We have installed 20 boxes at various localities in the city in the last months. It takes time for the birds to come and nest. They are very careful, he said. He said he has received about 600 telephone enquiries in the last two months about the campaign from all over Andhra Pradesh and about four SMS requests on an average every day.

The campaign is confined to Hyderabad at present but we give in puts on how to go about it if the call is made from outside the city, he said. The group.. also conducts campaign in schools across the city to raise awareness on the conservation of sparrows.

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