New threat to already-dwindling sparrow population
The already-dwindling population of house sparrows is facing a new threat from bars attached to wine shops attached to TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation) wine shops in Karur town in the State.
Naturalists received information about the trapping of house sparrows in hundreds every day in the town. The birds are said to have been sold to the bars at Rs. 5 each and their meat is served as delicacy there.
Mohammed E. Dilawar, president of the Nature Forever Society, said he received a mail from a resident of Karur that thousands of sparrows were caught every month and the meat was being served in TASMAC bars in Karur for Rs 30 a plate. The sparrow meat has become very popular among bar-goers in the town and it has replaced rabbit meat, which has been banned by the Forest authorities, the informer told him.
Following the killing of sparrows, their population in the town has drastically come down. Now, the poachers have moved into the nearby wooded areas to trap them. The serving of sparrow meat in some of the bars in Karur has become very popular, leading to increased revenue for the bars, the informer said in his mail to Mr Dilawar.
Another nature lover said a section of people in rural areas of the State believed that herbal preparation of sparrow meat (Chittu Kuruvi Legiyam) would enhance virility in men.
Volunteers of the Tamil Nadu Green Movement on a visit confirmed that sparrow meat was served at the bars.
When contacted Bhagwan Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu, acknowledged the receipt of the complaint and said action would be initiated against the violators shortly.