Tomorrow, (20th March) is now annually celebrated as World Sparrows Day. This is mostly in response to raise awareness on House Sparrow and other common birds in urban environments. Given that our labs' derives its name from House Sparrow (in Kannada), we decided to bring out a brief review on the status of House Sparrows as a Working Paper. We have put forward a few 'speculations' or hypotheses and have updated our map of Sparrows in Bangalore. This is by no means exhaustive and conclusive, this is only an interim update of the on-going effort to map distribution of House Sparrows in Bangalore. Check out where all you can sight House Sparrows in Bangalore below:
"Of House Sparrows and Human Settlements"
The concern on House Sparrows has been on the rise mostly in urban areas while the causes for their declines in and around human settlements are still undetermined. Off late, the concern on House Sparrows surfaces once a year on 20th March about their ‘decline’. In this working paper we are putting forward some key hypotheses or speculations for the possible decline, although not conclusive at this point of time. Some recent initiatives like the Citizen Sparrow can perhaps throw more conclusive light on the distribution of House Sparrows in the sub-continent.
We first speculate that increasing urbanisation coupled with extreme hygienic environments in Bangalore has resulted in loss of availability of food grains to the House Sparrows. Our next speculation is that rise of automobiles from horse-drawn carriages and other non-motorised modes of transport has in some ways affected them for feeding on any spill-over on-street. We thus speculate that some of the above or all of the above in combination have been at play in many ways that have restricted the distribution of House Sparrows in selected pockets of Bangalore.
Going forward, echoing recommendations by Laet and Summers-Smith (2007), we suggest dedicated studies to ascertain the selective presence and absence of House Sparrows in urban environments of Bangalore that can be statistically robust with better data and interdisciplinary research.
Please feel free to download and read the Working Paper here.