Birds Conservation and Tourism, BirdsConTour, chose the House Sparrow as the "Bird of the Year" 2015 for Namibia. Namibia is a country that is urbanizing rapidly, leading to a progressive settlement and city. Windhoek, capital of Namibia, alone has grown in population from 185 000 in 1995 to about 350 000 by now, making up almost 11,4% of the country's total population of 1.8 million.
As population growth rises, Namibia's cities and settlements are increasingly becoming less bird-friendly by restricted food, shelter and nesting options.
Birds are finding it especially challenging to survive in areas occupied by mankind and as future prospects indicate even more rapid growth, BirdsConTour takes action in bird conservation.
In an effort to draw the public attention to the threats faced by birds in Namibia, BirdsConTour has designated the House Sparrow as the "Birds of the Year" for 2015, after the Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) in 2013 (see blog articles # 5, 43, 60) and the Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori) in 2014 (see blog articles # 183, 184, 232).
With the designation of the House Sparrow as "Bird of the Year" he serves as an embassador for creating awareness of the effects a rapid population growth has on bird life. Any other city dwelling bird could have been chosen, but the House Sparrow is suitable because almost everybody knows this little bird.
Lack of green and sand spaces, a shortage of food and sometimes even water, use of pesticides and a lack of nesting sites are reasons for birds to void human occupied areas, sometimes even resulting in a decline in bird numbers.
BirdsConTour recommends that new and renovated buildings incorporate bird-friendly cavities (more details in articles # 65, 73), that urban areas get managed bird-friendly (read more in articles # 18, 21, 49, 62, 136, 139, 161, 218) and BirdsConTour also calls for public support of birds in gardens (articles # 70, 162, 205, 208, 212, 253, 309).