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Where have all the Sparrows gone?

The Independent newspaper has announced a ?5,000 prize to anyone who can solve the enigma of the UK’s disappearing House Sparrows (Passer Domesticus) from its towns and cities.

The Independent newspaper has announced a ?5,000 prize to anyone who can solve the enigma of the UK?s disappearing House Sparrows (Passer Domesticus) from its towns and cities.In some towns and cities there have been losses of as many as 92% of the sparrows!Why here, why now? Whilst there is a decline in the countryside that is in line with other farmland species and due, it is assumed, to intensive farming methods reducing food supplies. But, speaking of town sparrows, Dr. Denis Summers-Smith, world expert on the house sparrow, says: ?It?s one of the most remarkable wildlife mysteries of the last 50 years.?So the hunt is on for an answer and, to get the prize, your case must be accepted by both The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the British Trust for Ornithology because they will act as judges. The search for an answer, it is thought, will take two years.Environmentalist Michael McCarthy writing in The Independent, concludes that the house sparrow?s dramatic disappearance ?is a sure indication that something has gone seriously wrong in the sparrow?s ecosystem?and maybe in ours too.?

4th July 2014