The Delhi government is ready to notify the sparrow as the Capital’s first official bird.
On August 15, chief minister Sheila Dikshit had made a declaration and launched a “rise of the sparrows” campaign. “We’re working on an action plan. Efforts are being made to sensitise people, especially children. The notification may be issued next week,” government sources said.
“The chief minister, who heads the environment ministry, is keen on protecting sparrows and bringing them back, besides raising awareness about their life and habitat,” said a senior official.
Mohammad Dilawar, founder of Nature Forever Society, has set up an online portal, Common Bird Monitoring of India (CBMI), where people can register and monitor the birds.
“We have tied up with the government in this conservation project. We’re drafting guidelines for the creation of more habitats and getting these birds back to Delhi,” Dilawar said.
“In our food chain, this bird, like many others, is a bio-indicator. We’re saving this bird because it means we have made our environment better,” he said.
A forest department official said, “In Lutyens’ Delhi, we have not spotted these birds in the last two-three years. Methyl nitrate, emitted by vehicles, is one reason why these birds are becoming extinct. Vegetable production along the river, which used to attract sparrows, is also becoming a thing of the past.”