Monthly Lectures

The monthly lecture series of the WNPS is now a monthly gathering looked forward to by both the membership and the general public. The depth of knowledge shared in the 60 minute lecture by an excellent line up of speakers has not only enriched the audience but has enabled the society to initiate measures in various conservation fronts.

Upcoming Lectures

Conserving Horton Plains: What the Science Tells Us

By Dr Rohan Pethiyagoda

On Thursday the 20th May 2021, 6.00 pm, via Zoom

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Just about everyone who visits a protected area in Sri Lanka comes away with many ideas of how its management could be improved, and Horton Plains is no exception. Despite its small size, Horton Plains is one of our country’s most unique and priceless biodiversity assets—and sadly it faces graver threats than most other protected areas. Over-visitation, fires, alien species, pest species, illegal mining, forest dieback, population declines, pollution, climate change... the list goes on and on. While a great deal of research has been done on most of these problems, translating scientific findings into management interventions remains a formidable challenge. In this lecture, Rohan Pethiyagoda explores the threats that confront Horton Plains and discusses how he could respond to these. The solutions he proposes are often provocative, controversial, and perhaps even aggressive—but unless these recommendations are openly discussed among serious-minded conservationists, the decline of this jewel in the crown of Sri Lankan biodiversity is set to continue. The 40-minute lecture will be followed by an extended discussion time so that listeners can ask questions or challenge the solutions he offers.

WNPS Monthly Lecture
Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda

Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda is a biodiversity scientist who has published widely on Sri Lanka’s fauna and flora. He has published more than 60 research papers, in addition to authoring several books on Sri Lanka’s fauna and flora, through the Wildlife Heritage Trust (WHT), a foundation he endowed in 1991. WHT built up Sri Lanka’s largest specimen collection for research, which was gifted to the National Museum in 2009. WHT has also helped several outstanding young biodiversity researchers expand their careers by undertaking postgraduate research and some 150 new species were discovered and described through this work. Rohan is also an editor of the journal Zootaxa, has headed several state entities, served as Environment Advisor to the government, and as deputy chair of the Species Survival Commission. He has won wide international recognition for his work, including a Rolex Award.

Conducted successfully over two decades, the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society’s Monthly Lecture series plays an important role in sharing scientific information and knowledge with the public and also acts as a launchpad for conservation initiatives. Please join us online at this month’s WNPS Monthly Lecture, focusing on Horton Plains National Park and what science tells us, about its future.

The WNPS monthly lecture is open to all. Please register online

The WNPS Public Lecture is presented in association with Nations Trust Bank and open to all

Past Lectures

  • From Woodies to Plovers: an untold story of our national identity

    Oceans in Peril: Plastic pollution and unsustainable fishing practices
    by Laura Hardman and Sophika Kostyniuk

    March 2021

  • From Woodies to Plovers: an untold story of our national identity

    From Woodies to Plovers: an untold story of our national identity
    by Dr Sampath Seneviratne

    February 2021

  • Leopard-Human Coexistence

    Leopard Human Coexistence
    by Shatrunjay Pratap Singh

    January 2021

  • Ship Strikes on Large Whales

    Ship Strikes On Large Whales
    by Susannah Calderan

    December 2020

  • Leopards of Wilpattu

    Leopards of Wilpattu National Park 
    by Dinal Samarasinghe

    November 2020

  • Tribal Tigers

    Covid 19; An Unexpected Windfall for Sri Lanka’s Wilderness and Wildlife
    by Rukshan Jayawardene

    October 2020

  • Tribal Tigers

    Guardians of Sri Lanka's Wildlife
    by Mr. Ranjan Marasinghe

    September 2020

  • Tribal Tigers

    Conservation Photography: Taking Pictures to Save the Planet
    by Ami Vitale

    August 2020

  • Mangroves and their future

    Do or do not, there is no try:
    Mangroves and their future
    by Dr. Sevvandi Jayakody

    July 2020

  • Biodiversity, Climate Change and Land Degradation

    Biodiversity, Climate Change and Land Degradation
    by Sir Robert Watson

    June 2020

  • Unwinding the secrets of the elusive Indian Pangolin

    Unwinding the secrets of the elusive Indian Pangolin
    By Dr.Priyan Perera

    May 2020
  • Tribal Tigers

    Prioritizing marine conservation: Facts vs fuzz
    by Mr. Nishan Perera

    Feb 2020

  • Tribal Tigers

    Tribal Tigers
    by Dr.Sahil Nijhawan

    January 2020

  • Biodiversity Conservation

    Are we really engaging in Biodiversity Conservation?
    by Dr.Sriyanie Miththapala

    September 2019
  • Climate Change

    Climate Change and Our Responsibility
    by Dr.Erandathie Lokupitiya

    June 2019
  • Tribal Tigers

    Where is Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka Today

    May 2019