Charities call on Londoners to help save the 'Cockney Sparra'
Monday 18 June 2012
The chirruping of the cockney sparra was once commonplace, but now, ten years since a study found that the bird was on the verge of extinction in the capital, charities are calling on Londoners to help save it.
A collection of conservation charities has today launched a survey which asks residents within the M25 to map if and when they spot the birds in an attempt to determine if and where they can still be found, and how best to revive numbers.
House sparrow numbers in rural England have halved since the 1970s while numbers in urban areas have dropped by 60 per cent. The last study, conducted in 2002, found that the bird was nearly extinct in central London.
Now, the RSPB, Europe’s largest conservation charity, and a group of other bird-watching groups and charities, is asking Londoners to fill in an online form and record if and where they see the sparrows in their gardens and local parks.
Birdwatcher Eleanor Reast said: “London used to be so sparrow-rich the birds had their own rhyming slang of ‘bow and arrow’. Their numbers are now dwindling in our gardens and parks. We need to know where they are and where they aren’t to ensure we target resources where most needed.”
A total of 10 000 Londoners took part in the ‘Where have all the sparrows gone’ survey in 2002 which asked them to record if they had house sparrows in their gardens or local parks. The results revealed a stark absence of the birds from the centre of the city.
But the cause of the bird’s disappearance from our towns and cities remains an environmental mystery more than 10 years after The Independent offered a £5,000 reward for a proper scientific explanation.
Suggestions ranged from the increase in suburban predators like magpies, sparrowhawks and cats to the trend in . Other theories blame lack of suitable insect food such as aphids, disease and mobile phone radiation.
The sparrow count will begin today, Monday June 18, and finish on July 12.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Do you know this man? Amnesia sufferer found in park pleads for help in identifying who he is
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...