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Odisha takes the lead in house sparrow conservation

A pair of sparrows inspect the artificial nest at Gopalpur in Odisha.  

Thanks to the efforts of a group of young ‘pakshirajans’ (the ornithologist character in movie 2.0 played by Akshay Kumar), house sparrow conservation through artificial nests will reach all the 22 blocks of Odisha’s Ganjam district by the end of 2018.

According to Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashis Behera, it is the first step towards making Ganjam the first house sparrow-friendly district of Odisha. Efforts were started on September 9 this year. The aim was to get local people involved in house sparrow conservation through artificial nests in at least one village in all the revenue blocks of the district.

As sparrows nest and lay eggs almost four times a year, an increase in their population at a particular village would encourage inhabitants of nearby villages to take up similar measures.

Youth activists of the Anchalika Vikash Parishad with active support of the Forest Department, are the catalysts of this movement. Till now the project has reached 12 blocks and areas of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) in Ganjam district.

AVP president Sagar Kumar Patro said by December-end, sparrows will have protectors and new homes at select villages of the remaining 10 blocks of Ganjam.

Ganjam is the flag-bearer of sparrow conservation in the State. Apart from providing protection to olive ridley turtles, volunteers of the Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee had also started sparrow conservation through artificial nests at Purunabandha village in 2007.

According to Rabindranath Sahu of the RSTPC, their experiment has been replicated in 10 other Odisha districts and States including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand as well. RSTPC is promoting sparrow conservation in different coastal habitats of Ganjam district.

After the Phailin cyclone of 2013, AVP, a youth organisation of Gunthabandha village on outskirts of Berhampur, started experimenting in sparrow conservation and extended its efforts to villages near Berhampur.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 8:03:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ganjam-takes-the-lead-in-house-sparrow-conservation/article25720676.ece

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