• About WNPS

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Who We Are

With a history that traces back to over a century, the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka continues to work to conserve nature in all its forms - the country's rich wildlife, plant life, and all natural habitats, including landscapes and seascapes. The third oldest nature protection society in the world, and the first in Sri Lanka, our milestones are intertwined with the country's conservation milestones; many of which were advocated for, led and supported by the society.

The Beginnings

The Beginnings

The influx of Britons, and the introduction of coffee and tea set off a chain of events that greatly impacted the wildlife of colonial Sri Lanka, Ceylon as it was then known. Acres of jungles were cleared to make way for coffee and then tea plantations, game hunting became a popular pastime among many British planters, and there was a rise in commercial hunting to meet the demand for not only raw meat but horns and hides. It was in this backdrop, on the 23rd of May in 1894 at the Bristol Hotel in Colombo, the Ceylon Game Protection Society, the forerunner to the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka (WNPS), was formed.

History of the WNPS

  • WNPS - 1894

    1894 

    The Ceylon Game Protection Society is born.

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    1899

    First game watchers employed and paid for by the Society's funds.

  • WNPS - 1900

    1900

    Government proclaims the Yala and Wilpattu Reserves under the Forest Ordinance following constant pressure from the Society.

  • WNPS - 1929

    1929

    Emblem changes from side view of the face of the European Red Deer to the head of a Sambhur.

  • WNPS - 1930

    1930 

    Name changed to Ceylon Game and Fauna Protection Society.

  • WNPS - 1931

    1931

    Hon. D. S. Senanayake, Minister of Agriculture and Lands, elected an honorary member of the Society.

  • 1936

    1936

    First issue of the journal Loris published.

  • 1937

    1937

    New Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (FFPO) comes into force, with representatives of the Society invited to sit on the statutory Fauna and Flora Protection Advisory Committee.

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    1938 

    FFPO is passed into Law, with considerable contribution from Hon. D. S. Senanayake.

  • 1938

    1938 

    Championed by the Society, Yala and Wilpattu declared as National Parks.

  • WNPS - 1949

    1949 

    Successful advocacy results in establishment of a Department of Wildlife Conservation.

  • WNPS - 1955

    1955 

    Name changed to Wildlife Protection Society of Ceylon.

  • WNPS - 1967

    1967

    Becomes first NGO to become a full-fledged member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Nature Resources (IUCN).

  • WNPS - 1968

    1968

    Becomes first Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to be incorporated by an Act of Parliament.

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    1970

    Renamed Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Ceylon - later Sri Lanka.

  • WNPS - 1972

    1972

    Working closely with the Department of Wildlife Conservation, society plays an instrumental role in the establishment of Uda Walawe National Park.

  • 1972 Sinharaja

    1972

    Successful campaign to save the Sinharaja national park from destructive exploitation, brings society national recognition.

  • 1976

    1976

    Warana - Sri Lanka's first Sinhala nature conservation magazine is published.

  • WNPS - 1994

    1994 

    The society commences the Monthly Public Lecture Series.

  • WNPS - 2009

    2009

    The Reforestation of A Rainforest (ROAR) commences.

  • WNPS - 2009

    2009

    First Schools' Nature Club (SNC) Programme is formed at the Kalutara Maha Vidyalaya.

  • WNPS - 2017

    2017

    The Reforestation of A Rainforest (ROAR) is re-vamped with learning from challenges faced during previous phase.

  • WNPS - 2018

    2018

    Youth Wing of the WNPS is formed.

  • WNPS - 2018

    2018

     Wildcat Subcommittee is formed.

  • WNPS - 2019

    2019

    The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society marks 125th anniversary.