We are excited to announce the launching of newest conservation research initiative

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The territorial waters of Sri Lanka are rich in marine species. Yet there is very little information available about Sri Lanka’s vulnerable and endangered marine ecosystems. The SLWCS’ newest research and conservation initiative, the MaRINE Project, is both critical and timely.

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Charting a course for a new conservation research initiative

 

These are exciting times at the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society.

We are in the midst of launching several new research and conservation initiatives. Among these exciting happenings is our Butterfly Conservation Project that is being launched with the support of Spa Ceylon (watch for more information about this project) and our Marine Resource-conservation Initiative for Nature-based Enterprise better known as the MaRINE Project.

 

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Diversity is the “Key Word” about Kalpitiya

 

The MaRINE Project will be based in the Kalpitiya Peninsular in the Northwestern Province in the Puttalam District. The project will focus on both brackish water and marine ecosystems in an effort to understand the synergies, correlations and codependency between these two environments to make Kalpitiya one of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems in Sri Lanka. The Kalpitiya-Karaitive-Puttalam Coastal Wetlands Complex includes the Puttalam Lagoon, which is the largest inland brackish water body in Sri Lanka. The Puttalam Lagoon was identified as a wetland of international importance and listed in the Directory of Asian Wetlands in 1989.

This vast combined marine and lagoon ecosystem and region is home to a rich biodiversity, culture and history. The coastal waters are teeming with marine mammals, fish, marine reptiles, and crustaceans. There are bar reefs just off the coast and a chain of remote off shore islands unique in their own way. In the lagoon there are huge mud crabs, tough barramundi, quite and inoffensive dugongs, and the colorful pink dolphins and much more. Kalpitiya is critical stopover for migratory birds along the Asian Flyway and during the winter season the coastal beaches, mud flats, and lagoon is a quivering flitting flying mass of avian visitors – a birders paradise.

 

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Important for resident and migratory birds

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The rare Pink or Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin

 

Heading our MaRINE Project will be Ms. Ruvini Weerasinghe, a young scientist and graduate from the Zoology Department of the Jayawardenapura University currently reading for her M.Phil in Marine Biology. Her research includes marine biodiversity, coral reef ecology, marine chemical ecology, invasive species ecology and marine pollution. Eventually Ruvini will be joined by a team of research and field assistants, volunteers and support service staff.

 

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Young Marine Biologist, Ruvini who will head SLWCS MaRINE Project

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Conducting research on marine pollutants

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We have set up our operations center at the Marist Nivasa in Kalpitiya – an establishment belonging to the Marist Brothers. They have a very nice facility which they have very kindly allowed us to use to initiate our field research and conservation projects and the volunteer program.

Our brand new research craft, The Dugong __is being completed at the Neil Marine Boat Yard in Thaladuwa, Negombo.

 

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Dormitory-style rooms for our volunteers

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The SLWCS research vessel, The Dugong

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We have also acquired to two 15 foot canoes to use in the shallows of the lagoon to conduct research and conservation work on mangroves and various brackish water fish, crabs and other fauna that depend on the mangroves ecosystem for their survival.

Please watch out for further information on our MaRINE Project.

 

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Our two 15 foot research Canoes

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Always take the canoes for a test run before acquiring them…

 

Big, rumbling thanks to our Corporate Partners for their kind support and to everyone who has donated and supported our wildlife conservation efforts!
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Photo Credits:

Chinthaka Weerasinghe/SLWCS
Ravi Corea/SLWCS
Ajantha Palliyawadana (pink dolphins)

 

 

An Artist with a Passionate Love and Empathy for Elephants Leaves her Mark at the SLWCS Project Site

 

 

 

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“Riding the EleFriendly bus was a wonderful experience, a glimpse into the daily life of people who depend upon the bus to keep their children safe. The school children, villagers and their happy energy was infectious!” Alpana Ahuja, Singapore

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Alpana Ahuja is an artist and illustrator who had published 20 children’s books. Alpana lives in Singapore and regularly exhibits her art in group shows in Singapore. She had two solo exhibitions in 2014, both titled ‘Ganpati to Gajah’ to raise awareness on the plight of captive elephants in India. The proceeds from these exhibitions were donated to help the elephants rescued by Wildlife SOS India.

A unique series of paintings titled ‘Padhchinh’ were created by Alpana by taking the footprints of the rescued elephants on to canvas. These paintings sold through auctions by Wildlife SOS, USA continue to raise funds for elephants.

In 2016, Alpana did a painting of elephants called “My Family” to raise funds for the EleFriendly Bus. Prints and gift card packs of the painting raised over $2000 for the EleBus. The original painting is available for $2500 and the proceeds will go to the elephant conservation efforts of the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society.

Alpana has had a long association with ACRES, Singapore where she is involved in education, fundraising, wildlife rescue and also functions as a board member. In addition, Alpana runs an ‘Animal Lovers Club’ at a leading international school in Singapore, where children are taught many aspects of Animal Concerns.

Alpana and two friends and colleagues, Gauri Savadi and Kiran Sujanani visited the SLWCS project site in Wasgamuwa in September 24th 2018 and stayed for 4 days. These are the reminiscences of their experiences with the SLWCS.

 

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Visiting the Camp site at Wasgamua was a dream come true for me. The pristine land surrounded by a lake, hill and forests, the simple Field House, wholesome food and eco friendly ways, all made for an unforgettable experience.

The activities gave us a taste of the hard work that researchers do. Camera traps, sand traps (discovering a sloth bear cub’s footprints was the highlight for me), fence mapping we did them all. The tree hut was exciting!

Riding the EleFriendly bus was a wonderful experience, a glimpse into the daily life of people who depend upon the bus to keep their children safe. The school children, villagers and their happy energy was infectious! It was a project that I truly believed in and contributed for. My painting ‘My Family’ raised over $2000 for this project (cards and prints of the painting were sold).
We still have the original, for a buyer who pays $2500 and the proceeds are all for SLWCS.

Lastly I loved painting the wall mural at SLWCS and leaving my mark there! I spent many happy hours in peaceful tranquility near the lotus pond taking occasional breaks to observe 3 different pairs of birds catching insects around the pond.

I wish you all the very best and hope to visit again.’

Alpana Ahuja
Artist/illustrator
Board member of ACRES
(Animal Concerns, Research and Education Society, Singapore)

 

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I embarked on a journey from Singapore to SLWCS on the insistence of my friend Alpana. I went with no expectation. When we reached the field house at SLWCS, we were welcomed by the staff and existing volunteers.

I came here with the willing to try a volunteer experience by helping animals, but the philosophy engaged by SLWCS is even better! “Protecting wildlife while protecting the people”. Its a double whammy! The assigned morning duties and the wait and watch game at the tree hut were exciting. I say this with a satiated soul – “You people of SLWCS are all CHAMPIONS” Good Luck, onwards and upwards.”

Kiran Sujanani
Entrepreneur and animal rescue volunteer with ACRES

 

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Kiran, Alapana and Gaurie at the Tree Hut

 

SLWCS attests of us being human! All one needs is shelter, clothing, simple food and lots of love, and, this was surely reflected through all that we experienced at the abode.

To maintain the balance of the Lord’s creation-one needs to experience it!

My heartfelt thanks to each n every staff of SLWCS who provided us so much warmth. I especially needed the well-deserved let out and thanks to the dear passionate friend of ours Alpana for making this possible for us.

With hopes to contributing more, if not physically, for sure remotely. I am in awe of your beautiful country Sri Lanka and the people there, will return soon.

Good luck in all your endeavours.
God bless!”

Gauri Savadi
Principal of ‘Little Skool House’
(Early childhood education)
And animal rescue volunteer with ACRES

 

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Big, rumbling thanks to our Corporate Partners for their kind support and to everyone who has donated and supported our wildlife conservation efforts!
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Photo Credits:

Alpana Ahuja
Kiran Sujanani
Gauri Savadi

 

A Wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year to all our Donors, Supporters, Volunteers, Friends and Well-wishers!

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A Wonderful Holiday Season and A Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year to all our Donors, Supporters, Volunteers, Friends and Well-wishers!

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A leopard family out on a stroll…

Please give some thought to our tomorrow as you celebrate this Holiday Season and plan to welcome a brand new year!

Gratitude ~ Appreciation ~ Deep, abiding trust in good people from all around the globe! These are the warm feelings we share here at the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) as the holiday season and the close of 2018 fast approach.

We thank YOU–our donors, volunteers, corporate and organizational sponsors and grant funders–for supporting all of our many conservation initiatives. http://www.slwcs.org/ongoing-projects

As you know, the challenge of safeguarding Sri Lanka’s wildlife is complicated and expensive, and not without struggle, sacrifice and occasional disappointment. As conservationists and wildlife lovers, our hearts are vulnerable but our will to succeed is never-ending. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

And so–with YOUR kind help–we are! THANK YOU ever so much.
May your holidays be filled with joy, peace, and the promise of a future filled with the wonders & glory of Nature.

Sincerely,

The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society

P.S. A special jumbo thanks goes out to our generous 2018 sponsors:
elephantea, Colombo Jewellery Stores, WealthTrust Securities Limited, NABU International, Cha's Organics, Spa Ceylon, Stick no Bills and the Red Cross Society of the Royal College of Colombo.
Donations are always welcome & needed: http://www.slwcs.org/donate

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May you have a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Big, rumbling thanks to our Corporate Partners for their kind support and to everyone who has donated and supported our wildlife conservation efforts!
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Photo Credits:

Chandima Fernando/SLWCS
Carnivore Project/SLWCS & S.P.E.C.I.E.S.

 

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