Sparrow Massacre 1958

In the year 1958, Mao Zedong Chairman of Chinese Communist Party launched a campain “Great Leap forward” . In which one of the first actions taken – the Four Pests campaign. The campaign drive was to eliminate four pests, viz. rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows. Also known as “Smash Sparrow”, this campaign was the worst ecological disaster known to mankind. Mao felt that sparrows ate too much grain and China could do without such pests. Thus, he decreed that all sparrows be killed. Sparrow nests were destroyed, eggs were broken, and chicks were killed. Millions of people organized into groups, and hit noisy pots and pans to prevent sparrows from resting in their nests, with the goal of causing them to drop dead from exhaustion. citizens also simply shot the birds down from the sky. There is no official estimate as to how many sparrows were killed as a part of this campaign, but since the “People’s Republic” mobilised people of the country to eradicate birds, we can easily estimate that even if everyone person killed at least one sparrow each, more than 600 million sparrows would have been killed, making it an extinct bird in China But within a year, China realised that sparrows ate not only grain but also pests, for example, they ate locusts . Chinese agriculture was hit badly with an exponential rise in insect infestations, including locust attacks. There were no sparrows left to predate them. A famine naturally followed and people simply ran out of food. Even according to the conservative official estimates, 15 million people died, while some scholars peg the number of actual fatalities as high as 45 or even 78 million.