Expansive forest coverage of 694 sq. km., presence of Western Ghats, Noyyal River, and wetlands made Coimbatore an ideal location for biodiversity conservation activities. But, if proper conservation activities are not stepped up, remaining eight wetlands in the city would meet the fate of Ammankulam lake, said Mohammed Salim, president, Environment Conservation Camp.

He was addressing the students at an awareness programme organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry's Young Indians(Yi) in association with Kumaraguru College of Technology at the college here, on Tuesday.

He added that the dwindling sparrow population was an indication of the deteriorating condition of our ecosystem.

He said that unavailability of worms, insects and spiders, which were the main food sources for sparrow chicks, reduced their chances of survival. Students could play a major role in conservation activities, he added.

According to Mr. Salim, while sparrow population was declining in countries like India, it was invasive species in certain countries like Australia and the U.S.

Endangered species

Bhavin Shah, Chairman of Environment Platform, Yi, in his address, pointed out that sparrows were listed as endangered species in Denmark. According to him, five out of 12 varieties of sparrows were found in India.

Mr. Shah said that urban lifestyle had deprived sparrows of many of their food sources and nesting spaces. Planting exotic plant species by uprooting native plant species, use of chemicals in farming, air and sound pollution were some of the major reasons for the disappearance of sparrows form our surroundings. He warned that the problem of microwave radiation would intensify with the implementation of 3G mobile technology.

Arun Kumar, founder, Wildlife Wing Society and Director of Marketing, HR and Business Development, Bioagri Innovators Private Limited, in his speech on conservation and management, highlighted the role of eco-friendly industry practices and corporate social responsibility.

The speakers urged the students to keep nest boxes, feeders, water bowls and baths for birds in their surroundings. They said that people should be made aware of legislations to protect animals.