Sparrow numbers drop in HK

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Hong Kong : The Hong Kong Birdwatching Society said on Sunday that the number of sparrows in the city has hit a new low of 250,000 – down 16 percent from last year.

The group recently sent volunteers to count the number of sparrows at 78 observation points around the territory, and a decline in the population was recorded at 70 percent of the locations.

The group’s senior research officer, Pang Chun-chiu, said the unusually dry weather earlier this year could be partly behind the drop in numbers.

“According to the Hong Kong Observatory, [we had] the second lowest record on rainfall accumulated from January to May this year. So we had a really hot and dry springtime this year,” Pang said.

“Normally, sparrows start breeding in March or April. But this year, it was that dry that many sparrows may have experienced that it was not the right time for them to breed.”

Pang told RTHK’s Iris Yeung that further dry weather in the future could affect the supply of insects and seeds for sparrows to eat, which could see their numbers decline even further.                    Source: RTHK

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