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Sri Lanka's carnivores are under threat, yet many still remain unstudied in the Wasgamuwa area. Our Sri Lankan Carnivore Project is changing that

We are partnering with the Society for the Preservation of Endangered Carnivores & their International Ecological Study (S.P.E.C.I.E.S.) to uncover the secret world of Sri Lanka's medium-large mammal communities.

Work is currently underway to survey and evaluate the status of seven carnivore species, including the sloth bear, leopard, rusty-spotted cat, fishing cat, jungle cat, golden palm civet, and Sri Lankan jackal, using the help of our Volunteer Programme.

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Searching for ghosts in the forest...

The team's work includes updating the population and conservation status of the Sri Lankan leopard, an IUCN 'Endangered' species and thus a high priority species for conservation. Compared to other leopard subspecies in Asia and Africa, the Sri Lankan leopard has been the subject of few rigorous surveys and field investigations, likewise for our Sloth Bears.

With urban and agricultural development advancing rapidly in Sri Lanka, the need to know more about the threats faced by the island’s carnivore populations is more urgent than ever. The more we learn about the ecological requirements of the Sri Lankan leopard and sloth bear, for example, the island’s largest terrestrial predators, the more effective the development of conservation strategies used to create and connect protected areas. These considerations are made even more effective when integrated with the needs of Sri Lanka’s elephant populations, which require very large areas to roam.

What can you do?

Come and volunteer for us! Become an expert in identifying small cat species from their prints as part of our Sri Lankan Carnivore Project by volunteering for us.


These elusive cats are nocturnal, but each week our volunteers track two species, the Fishing Cat and Jungle Cat, across streams and paddy fields in the Wasgamuwa area, collecting data on their movement patterns and populations.


Interested? Find out more here.

To read more about our other research projects, click here.

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