A survey on house sparrows carried out on the occasion of World Sparrow Day has raised questions about urban biodiversity.

A survey on house sparrows carried out on the occasion of World Sparrow Day on Thursday, has raised questions about urban biodiversity that plays a very crucial role in ecological system.

Only 127 birds were spotted in the six sites during the three-day survey from March 16 carried out by six teams led by keen birders of the State office of WWF-India, to create a database of the birds.

“There may be slight variation, of less than 10 per cent, in the number of these birds,” said WWF senior education officer A.K. Sivakumar, who led the team in the first such survey carried out by WWF in the city.

The survey was held at Connemara Market, Chalai market, museum-zoo compound, Central Railway Station, KSRTC bus terminal, Thampanoor, and East Fort bus terminal. Mr. Sivakumar said it was disturbing not to spot a single bird in the museum-zoo compound though the area was considered the city’s green lung. No sparrows were found at the railway station, the new KSRTC bus terminal, and the East Fort area. Urbanisation, and associated heavy construction, is believed to have taken its toll on the birds. Most of the birds in the Chalai market were seen feeding on spilled grains. The highest number of birds, 30, was observed on the fruit market road.

In Connemara Market, the team observed the nesting, mating, feeding of insects and mud bath of sparrows. Nesting of sparrows was found at Connemara market, Chalai market, near FCI godown, Valiyathura, and in two houses at Kochuthoppu. Wild nesting was observed but nesting in wooden boxes and earthen pots were seen at both the markets.

The six teams were led by Jaichand Johnson, Neha Waikar, Kiran R.C., Rajalekshmi Sukumaran, Sayujya Anand and Mr. Sivakumar. Installing bird nests, bird feeders, and bird baths would improve the situation of these birds, Mr. Sivakumar added.