Bangalore: Fast losing its garden city tag, Bangalore will host a one-day international conference on sparrows on March 20 aimed at creating awareness about the depleting green cover and bringing back the little birds.
"Sparrows are a key indicator of natural eco system of any region. In fact the quality of air that we breathe is determined by the sparrows that inhabit that particular region", Chandrashekar Hariharan, Executive Chairman of Biodiversity Conservation India Ltd also called ZED habitat, organisers, told reporters here today.
He said main purpose of the conference was to converge research from across the globe to provide better perspective and dynamism in decoding the ecology and life of sparrows.
The conference, which coincides with the International Sparrow Day, will see a gathering of global scientists, bird watchers, ornithologists, academicians, key government and forest officials, environmentalists, wildlife enthusiasts, policy makers and administrators.
"Our aim is not just to invite the experts but citizens who are leading public welfare initiatives like representatives of local residents` associations and ward councillors and give them special steps that they can take engender biodiversity in their urban pockets", Hariharan said.
The other purpose is to recommend specific measures to the state government to check environment degradation.
Dr A K Chakravarthy, Head of Entymology Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra (GKVK), co-organiser of the conference, lamented that Bangalore, which was once a haven for sparrows, with its typical nesting spaces like the shrubs and bushes, was increasingly being stripped off its green cover.
Some of the key speakers at the event would be Carol Inskip, Ornithologist and author of "Pocket Guide to Birds of the Indian Subcontinent" and Andrew Pettit, researcher and ornithologist from Switzerland.
The conference will see a participation of around 1,200 delegates, including 250 from overseas.
Rapid urbanisation, excessive use of pesticides and lack of proper place for nesting had contributed to the decline of the sparrow population, Chakravarthy said.
To add to the problem, man-made threats such as the rising numbers of mobile phone towers, pollution, noise and electric wires have made the sparrow`s survival all the more difficult.
In another decade, due to lack of initiative, there is a real possibility that sparrows will completely vanish, Dinesh Chinnappa, Director ZED Habitat said.
He said in this context, the "Gubbi Goodu" (giving Sparrow Nests) wherein 12,000 such nests were distributed to citizens of Bangalore showed encouraging results with over 100 sparrows using the nests distributed last year.