Seasonal habitat selection by house sparrows across the urbanization matrix in Delhi, India
Keywords:Conservation, east Delhi, habitat selection, house sparrow, urbanization
House sparrows are associated with rural and urban regions and are a common species of any urban ecosystem. Previous studies confirm that urbanization and industrialization are two major factors causing the loss of suitable foraging and nesting space in urban areas for house sparrows, contributing to their rapid population decline. In this context, we studied habitat selection by sparrows and the influence of season and urbanization on it. Totally 58 transects were traversed from August 2017 to July 2018 to locate house sparrows across five seasons and five urbanization types. Habitat variables for each occupied site and systematically selected sites were quantified. We found that suburban and high-density urban areas were mostly used by the species. Habitat variables like the presence of residential areas, old buildings, vegetation, water, grocery shops, food provision, small eateries, open drainage systems, and open household waste dump influenced the habitat selection by house sparrows. In order to conserve sparrows in Delhi, it is very important to conserve its habitat or artificially create it by the installation of artificial nest boxes and by providing food and water for them.
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