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Artificial breeding centre in the works to boost Gurgaon’s sparrow count

Experts said sparrows are not being able to set up nests in their usual sites

gurgaon Updated: Jun 18, 2017 23:16 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
sparrow breeding centre,Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar,BNHS
A green bee-eater sparrow. Once one of the city’s commonly sighted birds, the sparrows have declined in number over time.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

To reverse the depleting population of sparrows in the region, the Haryana government has started work on an artificial sparrow breeding centre in Bhondsi.

The breeding project follows the inauguration of a 100-acre nature camp by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday. The camp has been developed with an aim of spreading public awareness about the state’s wildlife and nature. The sparrow breeding project was formally announced during the inauguration event.

Officials of Haryana Forest Development Corporation cited the loss of habitat as the reason why the sparrows were not being able to set up nests at their usual sites and said the government project will go a long way in arresting the slide in the population of the species and help them breed.

“Sparrows once used to be one of the commonly sighted birds in the state, but their population has declined alarmingly in the recent times. While a study is being conducted by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on the depleting count of sparrows, we have observed that they are being unable to set up their nests at parks and in residential areas,” Subhash Yadav, a member of Haryana Forest Development Corporation, said.

The plan is to develop a 2-acre sparrow breeding centre inside Bhondsi Bharat Yatra Kendra. More than 50 nesting boxes will be installed for the sparrows.

Members of BNHS and NGOs, which is engaged in conservation effort and biodiversity research and are supporting the breeding project with technical inputs ad assistance, said the centre would not only boost the count of sparrows in the region but also support the conservation effort.

The study conducted in 2010 on sparrows in Delhi/NCR by BNHS pointed to a rapid decline in the population of sparrows in the region.

“The Bhonsdi Sparrow breeding centre aims to provide a platform for people to come together and spread awareness on the need for conserving common biodiversity or species of lower conservation status,”Bibhu Prakash, director, BNHS, said.

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Haryana has already been running a Jatayu Conservation Programme near Pinjore to encourage captive breeding of vultures.

However, bird enthusiasts are of opinion that the sparrows are not yet in the list of species facing extinction and the government should do more to conserve endangered species.

“The government should undertake similar efforts to conserve other species of birds as well. Sparrows are still abundantly found in rural areas,”Pankaj Gupta, a member of Delhi Bird Society, said.

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 23:16 IST