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.

When Marine Mammals Come Ashore

By Anouk Ilangakoon

On Thursday the 9 th of December at 6.30 pm via Zoom
Pls register online

Marine mammals in Sri Lankas waters include whales, dolphins, porpoises and the dugong. All of these marine mammals spend their entire life cycle in the ocean. Therefore, when marine mammals come ashore it is immediately obvious that something is very wrong. So, lets discus why and how this happens, and what we should do when it happens. When marine mammals get beached or stranded out of the water it is a very dangerous situation for them as they cannot survive very long away from their natural aquatic environment due to several reasons. As a result, when live strandings occur it is of the utmost importance to try to help these animals as quickly as possible. However, it is equally important to handle such situations in a manner that does not add to the distress of the stranded animal or injure it further in the process of trying to help it. When we talk about strandings however, this also includes the carcasses of already dead animals that wash up on our beaches. While in the case of live strandings the priority should be to help the animals get back in the water, for researchers carcasses of dead animals can be equally important as they can provide an immense amount of vital information. Therefore, it is important to have proper protocols in place to deal with all marine mammal strandings particularly in countries like Sri Lanka where we have high diversity and year-round occurrence.

WNPS Monthly Lecture
Anouk Ilangakoon

Anouk has studied marine mammals in the waters around Sri Lanka since 1985 and has a Master of Science degree based on her research on small cetaceans off the west coast. In addition to her work in Sri Lanka, over the past two decades she has been involved in several marine mammal research initiatives in the south and southeast Asian region including projects in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India. She is a member of the Cetacean Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, the Aquatic Mammals Working Group of the Convention on Migratory Species Scientific Council and the Sirenian Specialist Group (Indian Ocean Region). She published the first guidebook on the whales and dolphins of Sri Lanka in 2002. She has also contributed chapters for several other books both national and international on the subject of cetaceans and sirenians and has published over 50 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals. She was also the recipient of the President’s Award for Scientific Publication in 2014.

The NTB WNPS Public Lecture is presented in association with Nations Trust Bank and open to all. Please sign up here

Past Lectures


    Monkey Kingdom in Peril
    by Prof Wolfgang Dittus

    Oct 2021


    Asian elephant conservation: The long road ahead
    by Nilanga Jayasinghe

    Sept 2021


    Protection, conservation & future challenges
    by Prof Sarath Kotagama

    Aug 2021


    Managing Human-Wildlife Conflict Involving Iconic Species
    by Dr Desley Whisson

    Jul 2021


    Empowering young people to make the world a better place
    by Dr Jane Goodall

    June 2021

  • Conserving Horton Plains: What the Science Tells Us

    Conserving Horton Plains: What the Science Tells Us
    by Dr Rohan Pethiyagoda

    May 2021

  • 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

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    November 2020

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    August 2020

  • Mangroves and their future

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    by Dr. Sevvandi Jayakody

    July 2020

  • Biodiversity, Climate Change and Land Degradation

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    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

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    May 2019