Sparrows, which have been disappearing because of man-made fectors, have reappeared in the wetlands of Orissa's Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.

"Last week we sighted a large number of nests of sparrows near the tourists rest sheds of the sanctuary," Prasanna Kumar Behera, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division said.

He said that there was a large population of sparrows a decade ago, but they slowly disappeared.

"We are trying to protect sparrows, which are not listed in any schedule of the Wildlife Protection Act. We are planning to grow indigenous plants to provide an ideal habitat for them," Mr. Behera noted.

The principal reason for the drastic decline could be the use of chemicals and pesticide in grains on which sparrows feed, wildlife officials said.