Urban Sparrows Project

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Urban Sparrows Project

Post  2write on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:16 am

Urban Sparrows Project

Saving a common species of bird from going completely extinct.


I'm writing to let you know about 'Urban Sparrows Project'

Take a moment to check it out on Indiegogo and also share it with your friends. All the tools are there. Get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates. If enough of us get behind it, we can make 'Urban Sparrows Project' happen.

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Best Wishes,
Ujjwal Dey
INDIA.


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Re: Urban Sparrows Project

Post  2write on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:17 am


Urban Sparrows Project

Saving a common species of bird from going completely extinct.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

* * * * * * * * * *

Sparrows are tough but Urban cities are tougher

The prime reason for the disappearance of sparrows from most of the cities is the absence of bushes and green patches, besides an acute shortage of nesting space. Although, sparrows are tough birds, in Mumbai they have been subjected to an unholy combination of challenges that has broken their hardy backs.

PRIME FACTORS:

Architecture changes
Groceries to Supermarkets
Mobile Radiations
Unleaded Petrol and Insectcides
Pigeons, Crow and other big Birds Population


When was the last time you saw a sparrow? They no longer flit around window sills, peck at grains or chirp noisily in the backyard; sparrows seem to have disappeared completely.

Over the past decade, Mumbai has seen a stark depletion in the number of small-sized common birds; birdwatchers say the number of sparrows in the city has dropped by a shocking 90 percent in the last couple of years.

The cause: our love for cellphones and fascination for Blackberrys, Androids and iPhones that has become one of the major threats to birds. Ditto for bees.

Scientists suggest that the radiation form mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world; the abrupt disappearance of sparrows and the bees is just the beginning.

A 10-member expert panel headed by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Director, Dr Asad Rahmani, submitted a report to the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 12 October this year with a list of recommendations to minimise exposure levels of wildlife to electromagnetic radiations.

The issue of ‘disappearing birds and bees’ was raised in the Lok Sabha in August last year, following which the expert committee was asked to study the ‘possible impacts of mobile towers on wildlife including birds and bees’.

Although, sparrows are tough birds, in Mumbai they have been subjected to an unholy combination of challenges that has broken their hardy backs.

Where have all the sparrows gone?

Sparrows are now making their winged presence felt in the city’s list of endangered species. “The disappearance of the highly adaptable sparrow is the first warning signal for humans,” says Rahmani, the director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Sparrows being very sensitive to the environment are one of the most preferred indicators of the urban ecosystem. A declining population of the bird is a clear indicator that something is wrong with the water you drink and the air you breathe.

At the same time, the abnormally high population of house crows that thrive on the garbage generated in the city, preying on eggs and nestlings of small birds has turned Mumbai into “a city of crows and no more of sparrows,” sulks birdwatcher Janardan Iyer. Echoing him is another Mumbai resident Chris Valentino, “I remember I used to feed them pulses when in school; over the years they are nowhere.”

This is what the committee has suggested:

Mobile phone towers are being installed in a haphazard manner across the urban area without any guidelines whatsoever. With nearly 800 million Indians using mobile phones, making it the second largest mobile phone subscriber population in the world after China, it is estimated that by 2013, India will have over one billion cellphone connections. In the absence of any policy on infrastructure development, that will spell destruction for urban flora and fauna.

The study says that radiation from mobile towers affects the reproductive and nervous system of sparrows and bees. The Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) from mobile towers acts as an irritant to the birds and bees, making them shy away from mating. The babies are often born with deformities due to the EMR interfering with their biological system.

The Electromagnetic Radiations from cellphones induce misdirection in the navigation ability of the honeybee. The waves make the bees disoriented. They go away from the hive and never come back because they can no longer find it.

The committee has stressed on minimising exposure levels by adopting stricter norms, as those followed in countries like Russia, China and New Zealand. “There is an urgent need to focus more scientific attention to this area before it would be too late,” cautions the expert committee.

Recognising EMF/EMR as a pollutant and introducing a law has been recommended by the committee as the first step to protect the urban flora and fauna. Besides removing the existing problematic towers, displaying bold signs and messages indicating danger on the cellphone towers has been called for. To help monitor the population of birds and bees, the panel has recommended that the locations of cellphone towers and other EMF radiating towers along with their frequencies be made available on public domain. Keeping a gap of at least 1 km in between towers and constructing them between a height of 80 ft and 190 ft to avoid coming into the way of birds flight has also been recommended.

The study also suggests “well-designed long-term impact assessment studies” to monitor the impact of ever-increasing intensities of EMRs on the biological environment.

The report has been submitted to the Ministry of Environment and a joint meeting with the Telecom Ministry has been scheduled for December.

REASONS FOR DECLINE NOTED:

Architecture changes
The traditional architecture allowed sparrows to make their nests in a holes, roofs, crevices of old houses .But modern architecture which introduced box – styled flats have no provision for sparrows to nest and lay eggs.

Groceries to Supermarkets
Few years back, grains were sold in grocery stores . The grains spilt from gunny bags were a major source of feeding omnivorous birds like sparrows. The grains were dried in huge quantities out in the open, which gave the birds their share of the introduction of grains. But now the scenario different because of Food Bazar and packaged food.

Mobile Radiations
The scientist who are trying to unravel the cause of Sparrow’s disappearance have identified a new culprit: the mobile phone. Studies have warned about the effects of these mobile radiations on reproduction and fertility of eggs. Animals navigate by the Earth's magnetic fields and these waves can disturb a bird's ability to find their way around.

Unleaded Petrol and Insectcides
The extensive use of pesticides and insecticides in our farms and gardens have created a scarcity of insects. The unleaded fuel, believed to be eco-friendly, has harmful byproducts. The fuel uses Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) as an anti-knocking agent. By mixing with the byproducts of combustion, this kills small insects.

Though adult sparrows can survive without insects being a part of diet, they need these to feed their young ones, and hence, the infant mortality rate of sparrows has gone up.

Pigeons, Crow and other big Birds Population
Religious beliefs encourage feeding of a particular species of birds and therefore, the birds like crows and pigeons have outnumbered small birds. These birds dominantly occupy the feeding and nesting sites.

Veterinary World Vol.3(2):97-100
The case of the Disappearing House Sparrow
(Passer domesticus indicus)


National Dairy Research Institute,
Karnal-132001, Haryana, India

Abstract
The fluffy brown sparrows are 15cm in length and distributed all over India up to 4000m in the Himalayas.The disappearance of sparrows has been widely reported in India.The sparrow population in Andhra Pradesh alone had dropped by 80 per cent, and in other states like Kerala, Gujarat and Rajasthan, it had dipped by 20 per cent, while the decline in coastal areas was as sharp as 70 to 80 per cent. But reliable information on sparrow populations is not available. No one is actually counting and keeping a record of the sparrows. The spread of diseases due to decline in sparrow population is an alarming danger. Introduction of unleaded petrol, use of chemically treated seeds, flow of electromagnetic waves from cellphone towers, reducing areas of free growing weeds or reducing numbers of badly maintained buildings, competition for food by other species etc. are possible reasons for this disappearance. The BirdLife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a UK-based organisation and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) have taken plan for the protection of sparrow population.

Key words: Alarming danger, disappearance, house sparrow, India, plan, reasons



WHAT YOU CAN DO?!?!

Orison B is creating awareness drives and signature campaigns to SAVE THE SPARROW. We are creating awareness not just for individuals and societies but also for Corporates so they know how their infrastructure affects their city. The Municipal and other Legislative bodies will also be made aware of the significance of these events. Frogs, Sparrows and Bees are survivors and if they are disappearing - it means humans are at great risk from the same pollutants.


Please keep our Awareness Campaigns and Signature Campaigns alive through nominal donations.

Best Wishes,
Ujjwal Dey
INDIA.

_________________
"Squidward, you're steaming. You're like a steamed vegetable, only smarter!" - Spongebob Squarepants
Freedom Fiction Journal~Orison B

2write
Admin

Posts : 69
Join date : 2010-01-29
Location : Bomb-aye, India.

View user profile http://freedomfiction.com/

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