Delhi in all-out bid to save 'state bird' sparrow from extinction
Authorities in the Indian capital, Delhi have taken the initiative to adopt the house sparrow as the "state bird" in a bid to stop any further decline in their numbers.
The house sparrow is fast disappearing from India's rapidly-growing cities, and experts claim that a number of factors like high pollution and a growing use of insecticides are to blame.
"We will take steps to ensure that the sparrow returns, feels safe, and is able to live peacefully in the city," the BBC quoted Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, as saying.
According to the report, experts claim that the humble sparrow is also being pushed out by bigger and more aggressive birds as food in the cities becomes scarcer.
"Their numbers have gone down drastically, specially in the cities. Sparrows don't like to build their nests in high-rise buildings. They prefer old-style construction where there are lots of nesting spaces," said Sajeev TK of the Bombay Natural History Society's Delhi centre.
"Also, because of pollution and use of insecticides, they are no longer able to find soft-bodied worms to feed their chicks," he added.
Bird lovers and wildlife officials have said that an aggressive awareness campaign can still save the sparrow and children would have to be at the heart of any effort to bring it back home, the report said.