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Effect of Mobile Phones and Mobile Towers

on Sparrows

Ghanshyam Vishwakarma
M.B.A. Ist Semester, M-1
Roll No. 046

Department of Management,
Babu Banarasi Das National Institute of Technology and Management,
Lucknow.

Submitted To: Mrs. Ashi Chandra


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I am so grateful to Mrs. Ashi Chandra for giving me this assignment and


guiding me. I am also thankful to all my classmates and my seniors of MBA
programme of Babu Banarasi Das National Institute of Technology &
Management, Lucknow.
Index

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………….……..1
History …………………………………………………………………………….………..1
Methodology…….………………………………………………………………….………2
Data sheet…….………………………………………………………………….….………2
Researches in India………………………………………………………………….………3
Researches outside India……………………………………………………………….……4
Findings…………………………………………………………………………….…….….4
Recommendation…………………………………………………………………………….5
Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………....6
1

INTRODUCTION

Set a bird song as your mobile ringtone. That may soon be the only way
you get to hear from our winged friends, studies show that the increasing number of cell
phone towers in cities is bringing down bird population.

The population of house sparrow, the small bird that lives in nest colonies close to human
habitats, is threatened by proliferation of mobile phone towers. This avian species can
still be spotted at over two-thirds of the world's land surface. But reports are pouring in
from all over India and around the world of rapid decline in the populations of these once
abundant birds. Birds are known to be sensitive to magnetic radiation. Microwaves can
interfere with their sensors and misguide them while navigating and preying. This report
is about to analyze the current condition of sparrows and finding out the reasons behind
their decline.

HISTORY

The ancient Romans introduced the house sparrow to Europe from North Africa and
Eurasia. Human exploration and migration then took the bird to many other parts of the
globe, including North and South America, South Africa, India, Australia and New
Zealand.

Being a social bird, the sparrow thrived around human beings and where grain was
abundant. Despite being derided as ‘avian rat' in the late 19th century (for damaging cereal
and other crops), the sparrow steadily ‘colonised' a number of countries. The demise of vast
numbers of this spunky bird is all the more shocking since it is a survivor; sparrows have
been found breeding high up in the Himalaya and down below in Yorkshire coal mines.
2

METHODOLOGY

A sample of 20 people was taken across the Lucknow, and different kinds of questions were
asked from them regarding their knowledge and thinking about this issue. For this a
questionnaire was made and then marked the answers accordingly.

Moreover, references were taken from the news papers and websites. A study was done about the
researches which have been done yet as well as which are going on. Based on these researches
and the collected data findings and recommendations have been given.

Data Sheet

No. of People
QUESTIONS YES NO
1 Do you know the bird named sparrow? 20 0
2 Do you see them in your colony? 2 18
3 How long before did you see them?
A 0 to 6 months before 2 18
B 6 to 12 months before 4 16
C 12 to 24 months before 4 16
D 24 to 36 months before 6 14
E Do not remember 4 16
4 Do you know it is an endangered species? 8 12
5 What could be the greatest reason among following behind it's decline?
A Insufficient food. 0 20
B Harmful fertilizers. 4 16
C Inappropriate environment for their breeding. 4 16
D Mobile radiation. 12 8
7 Do you think that there should be limited numbers of mobile network providers? 12 8
8 Do you think that there should be limited numbers of mobile towers? 14 6
3

RESEARCHES IN INDIA

Kerala Environment Research Association (KERA):

Studies in Kerala exposed the impact of cell phone radiation on honeybees and house sparrows.
Researchers said the state saw about 60 per cent plunge in commercial bee population. Besides,
house sparrows had vanished from the state. This was attributed to the electromagnetic radiation
from mobile towers.
The study by the Kerala Environment Research Association (KERA), an NGO, said the eggs of
sparrows nesting on mobile phone towers failed to hatch even after a month, though their normal
incubation period ranged from 10 days to a fortnight.
"The mobile communication towers emit electromagnetic waves of a very low frequency of 900
or 1,800 MHz. But this is enough to harm the thin skull of the chicks and their egg shells,'' said
KERA president Dr Sainudeen Pattazhy.

The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda:

At the M S University campus in Baroda, house sparrows have been studied extensively since
1960 using nest boxes. Bony Pilo of the Zoology department reports that these boxes have been
lying vacant for the last few years, marking a definite fall in the campus sparrow population. Dr.
Shyam Sunder Rao, head of the All India Coordinated Project on Agricultural Ornithology,
reports declining sparrow populations at most of the places where studies have been conducted.

Despite the gloomy news from all around, there are still some rays of solace. Sparrows have been
thronging the new Sacon campus at Anaikatty, Coimbatore. Today there are about 30 of these
birds on the campus. This contrary phenomenon may be due to the campus' environment-friendly
buildings designed by renowned architect, Lawrie Baker. The ventilators in these buildings offer
cosy nesting sites for sparrows.
4
RESEARCHES OUTSIDE INDIA

In London:

The decline of the house sparrow is not restricted to India. London bird-watchers too have been
noting its vanishing with concern. Buckingham Palace, reputed to be the richest wildlife area in
central London, has seen its sparrow population dwindle to zero.

The British Trust for Ornithology's (BTO) Common Bird Census Programme recorded a 58 per
cent decline from 1973 to 1988 across the rural areas of the UK. A BTO nest census reported a
53 per cent decline in both rural and urban areas. Sparrow expert David Summers-Smith, who
has been working on sparrows for the last 50 years, records a 95 per cent decline in the urban
centres of London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dublin. He hypotheses that the decline of the house
sparrow in London coincides with the increase in traffic and the introduction of unleaded petrol.
The new toxic compound (benzene and methyl tertiary butyl ether), that replaced lead in petrol,
may be killing insects on which young sparrows depend almost solely for nourishment.

The fall of the British sparrow could well have started as early as the turn of the 20th century,
when automobiles began replacing the horse-drawn carriage. The trails of feed that leaked from
coaches used to provide sparrows with easy pickings. But the disappearance of horses from
urban roads meant that sparrows were deprived of a valuable food source which used to be
available not too far from home.

The diminutive sparrow has a small roaming range. Plus, it needs to find insects to nourish it's
young. But garden herbicides and pesticides have reduced insect population, depriving the
sparrow of sustenance. The British are so concerned about their missing sparrows that The
Independent has even instituted a sizeable reward of £5,000 to anyone offering convincing
scientific evidence on the reasons for the little bird's woes.

In Netherlands:

A study conducted in the Netherlands by Guus Van der Poel found that the house sparrow was
almost extinct in those urban residential areas, where most houses had been built before 1953.
But the bird was found to be thriving in the more recently built areas. His reasoning is that older
cities lack sufficient amount of insects. As a result of the extensive building activity of the past
30-40 years, many older towns and city centres have drifted too far away from their former rural
surroundings. He concludes that the decline of sparrows in their traditional breeding sites in the
urban areas of larger towns is due to the lack of appropriate food during breeding seasons and
suitable nesting venues.
5

FINDINGS

The electromagnetic radiation emerging from mobile tower and mobile phones has caused the
decline of sparrows. Increasing number of mobile towers in urban and rural areas is affecting the
breeding of sparrows. The eggs of sparrows failed to hatch in presence of electromagnetic
radiation even after a month, though their normal incubation period ranged from 10 -12 days.
Apart from this, changing lifestyles and architectural evolution have wreaked havoc on the bird's
habitat and food sources. Modern buildings devoid of eaves and crannies, disappearing home
gardens and crop fields cleaned of insects by the use of chemical pesticides, all play a part in
denying sparrows nesting sites and food, especially for the young. It is the same sad story for the
sparrow all over the globe. To protect the sparrows to become fully out of the world Sacon has
launched the Common Bird Conservation Programme. This is in addition to the Endangered
Species Conservation Programme, which is investigating factors affecting the populations of
endangered birds.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The increasing numbers of mobile service providers and so the increasing numbers of mobile
towers has led this drastic situation of loosing sparrows and other birds. The things that can help
in saving endangered birds from electromagnetic radiation and providing them favorable
environment could be as follows:

Government should make such norms that can control the increasing number of mobile network
providers in a particular region. There should be only 3 to 4 network providers in a particular
region. It will decrease the rate of increase of mobile towers and can be a limiting factor to their
quantities.

Such technologies should be introduced that can facilitate network providers to operate their
service jointly from a single tower. This will also reduce the number of towers in a particular
area and so the radiation.

Buildings and apartments should be made environment friendly that can provide favorable
environment to the birds for nesting and breeding.
6
BIBLIOGRAPHY

India today………………………………………………………………..13 September, 2009

The hindu.com…………………………………………………………… …….19 June, 2009

The Times of India ……………………………………………………........…3 October 2008

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