Study on habitat features of House sparrows (Passer domesticus indicus) in Bangalore
Bombay Natural History Society
There has been public concern raised in many news articles that there has been a decline in the House sparrow population. There was no detailed study conducted in India on the key habitat features which determine House sparrow population. Hence the study focused on the key habitat features of House sparrows in Bangalore.
Nested paired sampling method was followed and data was collected in 10 sample locations on an urban-rural gradient.In each of this sampling site, a core area of 200mx200m and a surrounding 400mx400m was marked. The data of important habitat features namely number of houses and height of buildings was collected at each point count site in core and surrounding areas, by laying a plot of 50m×50m adjacent to point count site.
Wilcoxon test was used to test significant differences House sparrows numbers and habitat features of core and surrounding area.The House sparrows in core area was higher to surrounding area at p = 0.001. There was no significant difference of average height of buildings (p= 0.5566) and House cluster ratio (p= 0.322) between core and surrounding area. Ratio of non-builtup area to total area was significantly lesser (p = 0.0009) core area compared to surrounding area.
The study shows that in all the selected the sample sites the House sparrow are found in small pockets of Bangalore and their abundance drastically in a short span of distance.The presence of food resources locations with very minimum usage of pesticides could improve the food requirements of House sparrows. We suggest that artificial nest boxes may also improve the nesting space of House sparrows as a total of 23 artificial nest box were encountered in the field sites.