AWARD-WINNING WILDLIFE CONSERVATION PROJECTS SINCE 1995
AN AWARD-WINNING INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERING/CITIZEN SCIENCE PROGRAM SINCE 2002
How the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted us
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken center stage paralyzing the world and enforcing mandatory restrictions on human life unlike never before. It has affected us especially our staff, our research and wildlife conservation efforts, and our community development and volunteering programs. Yet, however much we feel helpless out there nature needs us to take care of it more so than ever before.
During this lockdown period we have come to know that there has been a marked increase in poaching. Farmers unable to get to their fields have seen an increase in elephant raids. Large numbers of elephants have been observed in the Tree Hut Elephant Corridor and in the Weheragala Tank. Which is good, but it also means, once life returns to normal if initiatives such as the EleBus is not operating then the situation will slide back into an environment of violent conflicts as it used to be in the corridor.
For us in Sri Lanka the Coronavirus situation following not even a year after the horrendous attacks of Easter Sunday 2019, is nothing less than devastating. We had barely started to recover from the tremendous economic hardships in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks when the Covid-19 pandemic engulfed the world.
The mandatory restrictions have severely curtailed our operations and we had to make several hard decisions. One of them was to temporarily close the volunteer program and say goodbye to the last batch of volunteers, which was very sad. But the hardest was to shut down our field projects and lay off nearly 90 percent of our staff.
This year was supposed to be an astounding year for the SLWCS especially because we were planning to celebrate our 25th anniversary.
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