Wild Life Appeal

Dear Friend,

Wild Life Conservation logo
We hope that you received ourA?A?eNewsletterA?A?that was sent out in the first week of July and that you enjoyed reading it. If you did not receive it you can view it at www.slwcs.org/eNewsletter.

This eNewsletter isA?A?an urgent appeal requesting yourA?A?support to helpA?A?conserveA?A?aA?A?critically endangered population ofA?A?elephants.A?A?A?A? TheirA?A?habitat is being destroyed due to a large hydro power andA?A?irrigation development project in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka.A?A? The largest concentration of Sri Lankan elephants are found in this province.

The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society has beenA?A?requested by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC)A?A?and the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka (MASL)A?A?to develop solutions and strategies to address land use, livelihoods, human-elephant conflicts and elephant conservation issues that will ariseA?A?due to the Morgahakanda and Kaluganga Development Projects of the Mahaweli Development Program.

We have been conductingA?A?field work withA?A?the support of foreign and local volunteers, including groups of students from the Peradeniya University.A?A? The information that isA?A?been gathered by the SLWCS willA?A?contributeA?A?tremendously to the ongoing discussions to develop solutions to address theA?A?land use,A?A?livelihood and environmental issuesA?A?especially human elephant conflicts (HEC)A?A?that will arise due to these two projects.A?A? The results ofA?A?the field surveysA?A?that we have conductedA?A?up to nowA?A?are summarized below. As both development projects are ongoing we need to speed up the information gathering process by running multiple survey teams in thisA?A?vast area so that we can develop solutions that can be appliedA?A?immediately.

Several surveys were conducted to gather data on socio economic status, elephant populations, distributionA?A?and habitatsA?A?giving special attention to the increase inA?A?HEC that will occur in the development as well as in the adjacent areas.A?A? The study gave priority to HEC because the success of the overall development project highly depends on mitigating HEC successfully.A?A? We already observe a major hindrance to the successful mitigation of HEC due to the fact that the development and resettlement sites have been pre-selected by the MASL before this study.A?A? Therefore theA?A?data from ourA?A?field studies will help the MASL to select alternative sites to relocate some of the developmentA?A?programs andA?A?resettlements.

The field studies consistsA?A?ofA?A?socio economic and elephant surveys to collect baseline data.A?A? The elephant surveysA?A?were initiated at the beginning of the dry season and covered the total area of the Kaluganga Development Scheme.

The objectives of the surveys were to:

  1. Estimate the elephant populations in the area.
  2. IdentifyA?A?elephant ranging areas.
  3. Assessment of habitats and habitat suitability.A?A?
  4. IdentifyA?A?existing elephant corridors within the impact zone
  5. Identify suitable areas for alternate corridors.
  6. IdentifyA?A?suitable resettlement sites.
  7. Identify areas to apply HEC mitigation techniques. A?A?
To achieve these objectives we conducted seven trail transects surveys in May 2008.A?A? The surveys will be repeated over two seasons to gather more information.A?A? The data that was gathered from our field research so far has provided us with theA?A?following preliminary findings:
  1. The elephant population in the area increases during the dry season and as a result HEC increases too.
  2. The increase in elephant numbers during the dry season is associated toA?A?the availability of perennial water sources in the area.
  3. The type and quality of habitats play a crucial role.
  4. The quality of the habitat determines elephant abundance in an area.
  5. There are two existing corridors that go through the project impact area and the proximate areas.
  6. According to the MASL the proposed resettlement areas are supposed to be ideal elephant habitat.A?A? TheyA?A?claim that a large number of herds use the area as a feeding ground during the dry season.A?A? InvestigatingA?A?the MASL observations will be a part of the future field research efforts.
  7. There are some suitable habitats that can be integrated to establish Managed Elephant Reserves (MERs) and Elephant Conservation Areas (ECAs).A?A? Once we have identified the most suitable habitats to establish corridors then it is possible to carry out habitat enrichment to link habitat fragments to form corridors.
The population estimates will be completed only after the seasonal surveys are completed, and then we will use both past and present data for populationA?A?analysis and density estimates.A?A? We hope to use our past and present data to provide solutions based on advanced GIS modeling.A?A? These solutions will include practicalA?A?solutions that can be applied preemptively to mitigate HEC in the project and adjacent areas.

Human Elephant Conflict in the Area

Human Elephant conflict has begun to increase since recently in the Grama Niladhari Divisions (GNDsA?A?are village level administrative divisions)A?A?that were surveyed.A?A? Of the total number of village householdsA?A?that were interviewed, 82% of the families have experienced elephant raids.A?A? Ninety five percent were crop damages, 3% were house damages and 2% were human casualties. According to information that had been gathered from 2005-2007,A?A?rice and banana are the most raided crops.A?A? Each villager annually loses Rs.12,240 (~US$120)A?A?due to HEC.A?A? This is a substantial amount to lose considering an averageA?A?villager’s total annual income is ~$300.A?A?A?A?Two elephants had been killed in the area, one in 2002 at Katumanaoya and the other in 2006 in Rambukoluwa-Sawanpitiya. Both areas are nearby to Kaluganga.A?A? According to the villagers, elephant raids are seasonal and they are most intense from the months of May through October which is the dry season.A?A? The following areas were identified by villagers as places where elephant gather in large numbers.

Name of locality andA?A?nearest GND

  1. Madugaslanda forest, Rambukoluwa
  2. Hobarakada, Mannakatiya Gangahenwala
  3. Moragahaulpatha, Karandamulla
  4. Athkimbulawala forest, AkarahadiyaA?A?
  5. Ambanmulla, Balagollayaya Minirankatiya
  6. Galwala, Katumanna Halminiyaity
  7. Kiulpotha, Gonawala
  8. Makulmada, Pallegama
  9. Galgedawala, Dagavilla Madumana
  10. Hamagahaulpatha, Kotakumbura Ranamuragama
We hope to survey all of these placesA?A?to gather information on elephant populations and available habitats in these areas.

The current field work was conducted by the Society at its own expense.A?A? Therefore we have had to limit the scale of ourA?A?field research efforts.A?A? We will continue with the research through October 2008.A?A? Once we have completed the surveys we will organizeA?A?a meeting atA?A?Dambulla or BakamunaA?A?bringing together the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Mahaweli Authority,A?A?Forest Department and other line agencies to discuss HEC mitigation and elephant conservation efforts in detail.A?A? Both divisional level and HQ level personnel of all the line agencies willA?A?be present at this meeting.


We need funds urgentlyA?A?to continue with theA?A?surveys.A?A? Based onA?A?the available fundsA?A?we will run multiple teams concurrently.

From August-October 2008 we need to conductA?A?9 Field Trips of 7-10 days each.A?A? Each field tripA?A?costsA?A?about $1300.A?A?A?A?The costsA?A?includes salaries, transport, accommodation/food,A?A?equipment, GIS expertise,A?A?analyzingA?A?data and writing reports.A?A? While the total cost to conductA?A?all the surveysA?A?isA?A?US$12,000, even small contributions will help us to continue with our field surveys and conservation efforts.A?A? We also have to conduct at least 5 stakeholder meetings at both the localA?A?and regional/national level to promoteA?A?sustainableA?A?solutionsA?A?for the MASL, DWC and FD toA?A?implement.

Visit www.slwcs.org/projects/mg&kg or email info@slwcs.org for details.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS How much plavix cost

WeA?A?gratefully acknowledgeA?A?the contributions and support of the following people and institutions:

  • Zoology Special students (2004/2005 batch) of Faculty of Science of University of Peradeniya for assisting us with the field work. TheirA?A?participation helped us to move ahead with the project rapidly.
  • Foreign volunteers from Global Vision International and World Wide Experience who assisted us with our research efforts.


You can make a cash donation of any amount viaA?A?Credit Card or by A/C Payee cheque marked MG/KG Project, Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society and mailed to 127 Kingsland Street, Nutley NJ 07110, USA or 38 Auburn Side, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka. All USA donations are Tax Free.

Even the smallestA?A?donation will help to save these elephants.

Erroneous information in Anaconda article in July 14, 2008 issue of Daily News

To: Editor, Daily News

Dear Sir/Madam.

I’m writing to you in reference to an article that appeared in the Monday, July 14, 2008 issue of Daily News, titled: Anaconda mum cradles 20. First time in zoo’s history. Written by Suranjith Perera, Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia group correspondent.

Mr. Perera very erroneously states that, “The mother had laid 23 eggs, however three eggs were crushed leaving only 20 alive.” It is possible that Mr. Perera is writing based on information he would have received from the Dehiwala Zoo personnel due to the fact that the zoo personnel have misidentified the snake in question. But the fact remains the green anaconda does not lay eggs.

The green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) known as one of the largest of all snakes in the world is a species of constricting snake belonging to the family Boidae that is native to South America. The pythons found in Africa, Asia and Australasia also belongs to this family. But unlike the pythons, the boa constrictors and anacondas of South America do not lay eggs. So contrary to the information that has been reported in the Daily News, the green anaconda in the zoo (assuming it is actually a green anaconda) should not lay eggs. Anacondas are ovoviviparous, meaning that they produce eggs which hatch inside the female’s body and result in live births.

It is the responsibility of the Dehiwala Zoo to first indentify all the animals in its collection correctly and accurately. The zoo should also ensure that competent and knowledgeable personnel are always made available when personnel from the press come to the zoo to record events especially about the animals in the zoo, since what is published by the press is read by a large audience and providing wrong information can result in serious repercussions over time. It is very important to ensure that scientific information presented to the public is as accurate as possible.

I would appreciate it very much if you would publish this in your next Daily News edition. If you need additional information please let me know.

Wishing you all the best,

I remain sincerely,

Ravi Corea
Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society

Buy geriforte himalaya Scientific Consultant
Herpetology Department
American Museum of Natural History, New York City, USA
REVISED/QUOTED: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2008/07/20/new24.asp and http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/07/16/news11.asp

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