Sparrows that used to be seen around in large numbers around the house and farm are now not much seen. Their population has diminished over the years.
The commonest of birds, the sparrow, has started feeling the heat of the climate change and is on the verge of disappearance from Kanchanpur and surrounding areas.
With the increase in summer heat, the thatched roofs of houses where the sparrows live and build their nests also become heated, thereby spoiling the eggs in the nests. The sparrows are also dying due to excessive heat.
Locals say that flocks of sparrows were seen before but these days they are seen only scantily.
Temperature in the tarai districts including Kanchanpur is found rising and reaching up to 55 degrees Celsius since some years.
“In the traditional houses there used to be enough space in the roof for the sparrows to build their nests and roost on. But the modern cement and concrete houses do not have that type of roofs congenial for the sparrows. So, the sparrow population is thinning,” Bahadur Singh Mahara, an environment expert, said.
Mahara said the sparrow species are on the verge of disappearance also because of the increasing sound, air and soil pollution.
“Rampant use of pesticides and fertilizers on crops is also one of the causes of the diminishing number of sparrows since the sparrow’s diet comprising the small insects are killed by pesticide. The grains on which the sparrows feed on also have traces of the pesticides. This has also contributed to the diminishing number of sparrows,” Mahara explained.
According to him, sparrows have also started dying after feeding on the insects and grass hoppers that have perished after the farmers spray insecticides.
“The water in the streams is also polluted as the industrial effluent that is directly released in these streams and drains. The sparrows drink the polluted water from these streams and drains, and die,” said Tek Bahadur Hamal, a local.
A study shows that another cause for the decreasing number of sparrow is the street lights and the mobile towers.
The sparrows cannot distinguish day and night due to the street light and lose direction from the radio waves that emanate from the mobile phone towers. A sparrow lives for three to 13 years.