The Price

The Price

Deforestation. A term that, sadly, is in common usage today. Yet how often do any of us stop to think about the consequences of losing our trees? If it doesn’t directly affect us, chances are, not very often.

We are taught in school that trees are important to maintain the oxygen balance in our atmosphere, but they do so much more than just that. The recent floods devastated our country and resulted in great loss of property and lives. As part of retrospective disaster management, we should be looking at the cumulative causes. Loss of deeply rooted trees is one such cause.

Continue reading “The Price”

Citizen science – (Camera) trap fishing cats and other urban wildlife!

Citizen science – (Camera) trap fishing cats and other urban wildlife!

I frequently get emails from people who are interested in seeing how they can help with the project, and one of the most fun ways to do so is by engaging in citizen science. Citizen science is science that’s conducted by people who are not full-time scientists, and is hugely important for small conversation projects like ours. The concept is gaining popularity worldwide, and we would love to see more Sri Lankans become citizen scientists!

Continue reading “Citizen science – (Camera) trap fishing cats and other urban wildlife!”

How you can help Colombo’s 🐟ing 🐱s!

How you can help Colombo’s 🐟ing 🐱s!

Recently, I was privileged to deliver a WNPS lecture on small wild cats in Sri Lanka. A big portion of the talk was of course dedicated to my work at the Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project, here in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

While I’ve given talks before, I was simply blown away by the interest shown by this particular audience, and I spent over an hour after the event, chatting to many people who shared my enthusiasm for protecting our fishing cats.

Something that nearly everyone asked me, both at the talk, and in the days after, is how can I help? I hope this post answers that question!

Continue reading “How you can help Colombo’s 🐟ing 🐱s!”

The Industrious Cat

The Industrious Cat

My submission to Small Wild Cat Conservation News 2016, with a few additional titbits.

Getting people in Sri Lanka to pay attention to anything that does not involve the Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is definitely a challenge. Many do not find smaller mammals very interesting, which makes getting funding from local companies especially hard. However, in November 2015, I approached MAS Active Linea Intimo (MAS ­LI), a branch of MAS Holdings, which is one of the largest manufacturers of apparel in the region. Chances are, they manufacture a lot of the fancy sports wear you own! The CEO of MAS ­LI, Chelan Goonetilleke is a known wildlife enthusiast, so I tried my luck in pitching my proposal to him. While driving to the factory in the Board of Investments (BOI) zone in Biyagama, east of Colombo, I kept going over my presentation in my mind, but tried to play it cool. I had been turned down numerous times before, and Chelan had only 30 minutes to sit with me, so I knew I was not going to get a second shot at it.

Continue reading “The Industrious Cat”