Berhampur (Odisha), Mar 26 (PTI) Over 5,000 artificial nests are being installed for the endangered house sparrows and several other bird species in Odisha’s Ganjam district to create a habitat for their breeding, forest department officials said. Also Read - 15-Feet-Long King Cobra Rescued From Odisha's Ganjam, Released in Forest

The state water resources department, which is constructing an irrigation project at Ghatekeswar in the district, has provided Rs 5 lakh to the forest department for installation of artificial nests near the dam site, they said. Also Read - Odisha Lockdown Extension News: 14-day Complete Shutdown in Ganjam, Khurdha, Cuttack, Jajpur, Rourkela From Today Till July 31 | Check Guidelines

“As population of house sparrows has declined alarmingly. We have decided to install artificial nests for these tiny birds near the dam site,” Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Berhampur, Asish Kumar Behera said. Also Read - 63-Year-Old Odisha Woman With 19 Toes & 12 Fingers Sets New Guinness World Record

He said the DFO’s office in Berhampur along with the Anachaliaka Bikash Parishad (ABP) in Gunthubandh had organised a programme here recently to create awareness on conservation of house sparrows and other birds.

Disturbance in their habitation is considered to be the prime reason behind the decrease of house sparrows, Behera said.

“Although there is no concrete data, bird lovers feel that the number of house sparrows has been declining at an alarming pace,” Sudhir Rout, an educationist, said.

The DFO said several studies conducted by different organisations have showed that the population of house sparrows increased after artificial shelters were created for them in different towns and villages.

The forest official asked different organisations, including Berhampur Development Authority (BeDA), to take steps for installation and distribution of artificial nests in the houses and tress to save house sparrows.

“The nests are made of clay, cocnut coir and plywood,” Sagara Patra, president of Anachaliaka Bikash Parishad, said.

“We have seen their (house sparrows) population is increasing in the area after taking this conservation measure,” said Patra.

Ganjam district turtle protection committee has also distributed over 200 nests in various places, including Purunabandh, Gopalpur and some other areas, for artificial nesting of the birds.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.