WNPS (The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society) and HEMAS HOLDINGS have partnered together to launch a new conservation project aimed at preserving critically endangered Sri Lankan endemic species.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), Mr Johnson Liu, and the President of the Wildlife & Nature Protection
Society (WNPS), Mr Jehan CanagaRetna, mid-October to launch the ‘Ali Pancha’ Project – a way to help the transition from Human – Elephant Conflict (HEC) to Human – Elephant Peace. The broad aims of the Project are as follows:
Hemas Holdings has partnered with Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) to understand and carry out necessary interventions to protect over 50 critically endangered species in Sri Lanka.
For this article, I am using my previous article, “Plantation Monoculture and Biodiversity” (published in The Morning Brunch on 4 April) as the launching pad. Whilst in the earlier article, I dealt with the impact of plantation monoculture on biodiversity, in this, I shall address the mitigation of those consequences.
Current scientific data shows that elephant habitat in Sri Lanka has reduced by 15% over the last 50 years. It is an equally well-known scientific fact that when the habitat of a species is reduced, the species population declines. If the figures for elephant mortalities, from 2010 to 2021, are considered, then this is happening right now. 3,328 elephant deaths were recorded during this time. Whether there are 6,000 wild elephants in Sri Lanka today, as per a 2011 survey, or twice that number, at this rate of attrition, the continued existence of a viable breeding population is threatened. Add to this that current scientific research shows that there is a high mortality rate amongst calves, the forecast is bleak. In a study undertaken at the Yala National Park by the Centre for Conservation & Research (CCR), it was found that 54% of all elephant calves died within two (2) years of birth. The main reason – malnutrition. This is being replicated elsewhere too.