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

Ship strikes on large whales

Sri Lankan blue whales within a global context

By Susannah Calderan

On Thursday the 10th of December 2020 at 6 pm via Zoom and FB Live

Sign up online

One of the major threats to large whales globally is being struck by ships, which can cause severe injuries and death. These incidents happen throughout the world’s oceans, but particularly in areas where shipping and whales are concentrated. Sri Lanka is renowned for its
blue whales, but their habitat lies within one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. This lecture will look at ship strike problems elsewhere in the world such as the west and northeast coasts of the US, and the Mediterranean. I will look at the types of ships and whal e species most commonly involved in collisions, and the scientific research we are undertaking to understand the problem. I will discuss the types of measures which can be taken to mitigate the risk, such as slower speeds and re-routing of ships. I will describe the research we have carried out in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the University of Ruhuna to understand blue whale distribution of the south coast, and assess the ship strike risk. Ship strikes south of Sri Lanka mainly affect blue whales, but also other species such as sperm whales. The problem is particularly acute in Sri Lanka as the shipping lane runs through an area of high biological productivity, so not only are whales affected by the high level of shipping traffic, but also local fishermen and whale watch boats.

WNPS Monthly Lecture
Susannah Calderan
Susannah Calderan is a marine mammal ecologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the Scottish Association for Marine Science. She specialises in acoustic studies on whales, and the impact of human activities on whales such as ship strikes, underwater noise, and fisheries bycatch. Her work in acoustics has involved several Antarctic and sub Antarctic research projects investigating blue whales, with the British Antarctic Survey and Australian Antarctic Division. She has been involved in blue whale research in Sri Lanka for several years, with a primary focus on resolving the blue whale ship strike problem.

The WNPS monthly lecture is open to all

please register online

The Lecture is supported by Nations Trust Bank 

Past Lectures

  • 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