Skip to main content

Mobile towers threaten house sparrow



The population of house sparrow, the small bird that lives in nest colonies close to human habitat, is threatened by proliferation of mobile phone towers, erected without scientific norms or strict regulations, claims a recent study by a conservation group in Kerala.
The study in Kollam taluk by environmentalist group Kerala Environmental Researchers Association (KERA) claimed that the population of house sparrow -- Passer domesticus -- is on the decline in spots like railway stations, warehouses and human dwellings normally colonized by them.
Since its diet comprises seeds, cereals and insects, factors like harmful insects, introduction of unleaded petrol, combustion of which produces highly toxic compounds like methyl nitrite, use of garden pesticides and destruction of open grasslands and mushrooming of bird unfriendly architecture also harm existence of the sparrow.
The study holds that uncontrolled and unscientific proliferation of mobile phone towers is bringing down sparrow population, said Prof Zainudeen Pattazhy, who led the study.
"Conservation of house sparrows urgently require enforcement of strict rules and regulation on erection of mobile phone towers by the Centre," he told
The birds, which nest near towers, were found to leave them within one week. One to eight eggs are present in a clutch. Incubation takes 10 to 14 days. But eggs laid in nests near towers were found to have failed to hatch even after 30 days, the study said.
It also said mobile towers were found to emit electro magnetic waves of a very low frequency of 900 or 1,800 MHz. But this was enough to harm the thin skull of chicks and their egg shells. Hence it is imperative to include this bird in the endangered list and take steps to protect them from vanishing, the study said.
According to Pattazhy, there are more than 80 mobile towers in Kollam taluk alone. In many places, three or four towers are erected within half a kilometre radius.
A mobile tower can emit microwave radiations in the Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) part of the spectrum of electro magnetic waves. RFR is a source of thermal energy and in adequate doses, has all known effects of heating on biological systems, including burns and cataracts in the eyes.
The heating effect of RFR can become a problem in individuals with metallic implants like rods in bones and electromagnetic interference can interact with cardiac pace makers. Acute high dose exposure to RFR may cause injury to the eyes. The cornea and lens are particularly susceptible to frequency of the 1-300 GHz range and formation of lesions in the retina is also possible.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MUNSHI PREMCHAND STORIES IN COMIC FORMAT

Stories by modern Hindi and Urdu literary legend, Munshi Premchand are now available in comic format published by Amar Chitra Katha. The comic books in Hindi detailing two stories by the late literary phenomenon, is part of the publisher's contemporary classics section, which began in 2012 with stories by author Ruskin Bond. "We are launching the comics at the World Book Fair and it is our tribute to Premchand. The idea is to make his stories familiar with children," Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha told PTI. The stories "Buddhi Kaki" (The old Aunt) and "Do Bail" (Two Oxen) have been scripted and illustrated by Pratima Singh and Surendra Murthy. The English version of the comics translated by Nandini Nair is also set for launch within a few weeks, says Reena. The books are priced at Rs 50 each. "Buddhi Kaki" first published in 1921 is the story of an old childless widow who craves for love after she bequeaths her entir…

WORLD's FIRST UNDERWORLD TENNIS COURT IN DUBAI

Dubai, which boasts of the world's highest tennis court, may also become home to the first underwater tennis centre where spectators can watch games from below or above the sea life through a massive glass dome. Krzysztof Kotala, a Polish architect who owns a studio in Warsaw, is currently seeking investment from local players to make the ambitious project a reality. Interestingly, the proposed location for the project (arguably one of the world's lowest tennis courts) is just next door to the highest tennis court atop the Burj al Arab skyscraper in Dubai. "There is not an investor but I would like to get interest (from them) as I think it is a good idea," Kotala, 30, was quoted as saying by a local magazine. When asked why he chose Dubai for his project, Kotala said the Gulf city had a rich tradition of tennis. "This will be something original. This should be somewhere where there is the tradition of tennis. Dubai is perfect for this idea," he said. The in…

DEADLY HABIT...MOBILE CALL ANSWERING ON DRIVE

Nearly 60 per cent of two-wheeler users "instinctively" answer mobile phones on ride while 14 per cent of pedestrians click selfies crossing the road, finds out a survey. Sixty four per cent pedestrians regularly do this and 18 per cent immediately respond to a call from their superior at work, even while switching sides on the road. That is only one part of the story. One in every three car drivers tends to send out an important text message, stated the survey conducted by consumer goods maker Samsung across 12 cities in India. There is one road accident in every four minutes in India, it added, citing government data. "11 per cent of two-wheeler riders would always answer their phone when on the road, regardless of who was calling, 30 per cent would respond to calls from family while 18 per cent of the riders responded to work-related calls," it added. In addition, 23 per cent of two-wheeler riders admitted to reading and replying to texts or social media updates…