The cheerful, gregarious house sparrows, once commonly seen flitting around the neighbourhood, are in real trouble and are vanishing from the centre of many cities and rural areas. Their recent decline has put them on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List category. According to the latest sparrow census put together by various environmental organisations, there has been an 80 per cent decline in their numbers during the past decade. The disappearance of sparrows in India has been widely reported, but responses have been quite muted so far. To draw the attention of government agencies and the scientific community for more conservation measures and research on common bird species and urban biodiversity, March 20 will be celebrated and marked as World House Sparrow Day. The marking of the day is an international initiative by the Nature Forever
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