Medical/biological study (observational study)

The Urban Decline of the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): A Possible Link with Electromagnetic Radiation.

Published in: Electromagn Biol Med 2007; 26 (2): 141-151

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study whether the population of house sparrows (birds that usually live in the urban environment) is declining in Spain and to evaluate the hypothesis that electromagnetic irradiation from mobile phone antennae is correlated with the decline in the house sparrow population.
Background/further details: Between October 2002 and May 2006, point transect sampling was performed at 30 points during 40 visits to Valladolid, Spain. At each point, counts of sparrows were carried out and the mean electric field strength was measured (radiofrequencies and microwaves: 1 MHz-3 GHz range).


  • number of house sparrows


Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1 MHz–3 GHz
Exposure duration: 3 years and 8 months
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 1 MHz–3 GHz
Exposure duration 3 years and 8 months
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 3.5 V/m maximum measured - -
electric field strength 0.4 V/m mean measured - -
Exposed system:
  • animal
  • house sparrow (Passer domesticus)
  • whole body

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

  • number of house sparrows
Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Significant declines were found in the mean bird density over time, and significantly low bird density was revealed in areas with high electric field strength. The data support the hypothesis that electromagnetic fields are associated with the observed decline in the house sparrow population.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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