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The House Sparrow has an extremely large range and population, and is not seriously threatened by human activities, so it is assessed as Least Concern for conservation on the IUCN Red List.[1] However, populations have been declining in many parts of the world.[177][178][179] These declines were first noticed in North America, where they were initially attributed to the spread of the House Finch, but have been most severe in Western Europe.[180][181] Declines have not been universal, as no serious declines have been reported from Eastern Europe, but have even occurred in Australia, where the House Sparrow was introduced recently.[182]

In Great Britain, populations peaked in the early 1970s,[183] but have since declined by 68 percent overall,[184] and about 90 percent in some regions.[185][186] In London, the House Sparrow almost disappeared from the central city.[185] The numbers of House Sparrows in the Netherlands have dropped in half since the 1980s,[93] so the House Sparrow is even considered an endangered species.[187] This status which came to widespread attention after a female House Sparrow, referred to as the "Dominomus", was killed after knocking down dominoes arranged as part of an attempt to set a world record.[188] These declines are not unprecedented, as similar reductions in population occurred when the internal combustion engine replaced horses in the 1920s and a major source of food in the form of grain spillage was lost.[189][190]

Various causes for the dramatic decreases in population have been proposed, including predation, in particular by Eurasian Sparrowhawks;[191][192][193] electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones;[194] and diseases.[195] A shortage of nesting sites is probably a factor, and conservation organisations have encouraged the use of special nest boxes for sparrows.[195][196][197][198] A primary cause of the decline seems to be an insufficient supply of insect food for nestling sparrows.[195][199] Declines in insect populations result from an increase of monoculture crops, the heavy use of pesticides,[200][201][202] the replacement of native plants in cities with introduced plants and parking areas,[203][204] and possibly the introduction of unleaded petrol, which produces toxic compounds such as methyl nitrite.[205]

Protecting insect habitats on farms,[206][207] and planting native plants in cities benefit the House Sparrow, as does establishing urban green spaces.[208][209] To raise awareness of threats to the House Sparrow, World Sparrow Day has been celebrated on 20 March across the world since 2010.[210]

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