Wreckers of underwater treasures must be stopped Fish are being dynamited as they shelter in the historically important shipwrecks scattered around Sri Lanka’s coastline, damaging valuable eco-systems and putting tourist earnings at risk. Underwater grave: Dead fish at the site of the British Sergeant wreck. Pic by Nishan Perera Blast fishing is one of the most destructive fishing practices, used to stun or kill schools of fish ...

A butterfly guide this season to inspire time with nature Butterfly watching – also called butterflying – involves the observation and study of butterflies. With the main aim of popularising interest among the public, the Butterfly Conservation Society of Sri Lanka (BCSSL) will be launching the photographic guide ‘Field Guide to Butterflies of Sri Lanka’ that has more than 600 photos and illustrations of all of the 247 butterflies of ...

Moving whales out of the fast lane Missed chances in preventing ships from killing mighty mammals  Image of whale came to Colombo harbor by attached to a ship Sri Lanka missed a November 27 deadline to submit a proposal to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that would save endangered whales off the south coast from being killed or maimed in the busy shipping lane offshore that ...

She wears my ring, say UK bird researchers A bird found with a ring on Puttalam lagoon last week caused puzzlement over the link between the ring and the bird. The ring was etched with the words “British Museum London” and bore other markings that were meaningless to many people. One erroneous report stated, “London Museum bird accidentally lands in Sri Lanka with a ‘Stolen Ring’” and said ...

You can see it; the ‘fire’ in his photographs A coffee table book, The Children of Eden – Tribute to Sri Lanka’s Wildlife, by Rajiv Welikala, will be launched on December 5  “I consider Sri Lanka as one of the last Edens left on earth and wildlife as its true children. So I want to make my maiden book a lasting tribute to the beauty of Sri Lanka’s ...

Budget allocates Rs 4,000 million to Environment sector Budget 2016 has an allocation of Rs 4,000 million for the environment sector for three years, to resolve the human-elephant conflict and conserve Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity. The Sunday Times learns that the Government will seek these additional funds through a World Bank project interest-free loan of US$ 30 million, which did not materialise during the previous regime. This ...

Hogdeer breeding program bring success Mother hog deer takes care of its new born baby Tiny deer once thought to have been lost to Sri Lanka forever have a toehold on existence with the birth of a fifth baby to a small group kept under protection. Born free: A hogdeer in Honduwa The deer live on an island sanctuary in the Lunuganga set up two ...

Forest adjoining Yala saved from Gliricidia treat Right of animals to roam free in forest restored  Environmentalists often have to fight losing battles but they have recently won a battle against a company clearing a forest where elephant, leopard and bear roam in order to grow gliricidia, a biofuel crop. The land being cleared in Amarawewa The problem emerged in 2012, when environmentalists noted a large ...

Friday the 13th space debris was no horror The eyes of many were focused skyward around noon on Friday the 13th in anticipation of observing the much-hyped space debris predicted to fall into the sea off the southern coast. People flocked to the Arthur C. Clarke centre in Tangalle. Pic by Rahul Hettiarachchi Local and foreign space observers camped out at several locations to witness traces of falling ...

Slow death in oceans from millions of tons of plastic waste Forget the space debris – worry about marine debris. Published on SundayTimes on 08.11.2015 – http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151108/news/slow-death-in-oceans-from-millions-of-tons-of-plastic-waste-170939.html People concerned about the chunk of space debris expected to fall into the sea close by this Friday should be more worried about the tons of earthbound debris that enter the oceans, with Sri Lanka ranking fifth among countries releasing plastic waste into the ...

Will baby jumbos snatched from the wild find justice? Published on SundayTimes on 01.11.2015 – http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151101/news/will-baby-jumbos-snatched-from-the-wild-find-justice-169830.html Wildlife Conservation Director-General H.D. Ratnayake has directed his officials to work speedily with the CID to capture dozens of elephants caught illegally from the wild and kept captive in private hands following a stern order by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. Ali Roshan’s lawyers say that confiscated elephants are not being treated well in Pinnawalal

International wildcat experts to meet in Sri Lanka Published on SundayTimes on 01.11.2015 – http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151101/news/international-wildcat-experts-to-meet-in-sri-lanka-169792.html An international summit on Asian wildcats begins tomorrow in Mount Lavinia as local concerns rise over the number of leopards – Sri Lanka’s most charismatic wild cat – killed in the span of a few weeks, some through reckless driving. Sri Lanka is home to four wild- cats: leopards, fishing cats, jungle cats and ...

President’s tree-planting programme hopes to avoid mistakes of past Plan to increase forest cover to 32pc and repair ravages. Published on SundayTimes on 25.10.2015 – http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151025/news/presidents-tree-planting-programme-hopes-to-avoid-mistakes-of-past-169126.html President Maithripala Sirisena’s wish to increase Sri Lanka’s forest cover to 32 per cent from the current 29 per cent has been welcomed by environmentalists who point out that Sri Lanka has been steadily losing its forest cover. Next week sees the end ...

Published on SundayTimes on 01.11.2015 – http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151101/news/piece-from-the-sky-is-falling-but-dont-be-a-chicken-licken-169950.html Will you be fishing 100 km south of Sri Lanka on November 13?  If so, for what it is worth, you’d better wear a steel helmet and, possibly, body armour to protect yourself from what is believed to be a falling leftover piece of a rocket, although scientists say much of this space debris ...

The tuskers of Kalawewa now have a sanctuary Adding another national park to Sri Lanka’s protected areas, the government declared the wilderness around Kalawewa and Balaluwewa a sanctuary. Kalawewa is particularly famous for tuskers © Rajiv Welikala Wildlife and Sustainable Development Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera declared open the national park yesterday. Environmentalists welcome the move saying the protection was long overdue. The Kalawewa reservoir was built by King ...

Repertoire: Animals in action and more A pictorial gateway to Sri Lanka’s nature to be launched  The word Repertoire is defined as “a stock of plays or dances that a performer knows or is prepared to perform”. Be it a male Jungle fowl flapping its wings to mark its territory, a mongoose jumping just a split second before the lethal fangs of a cobra attack it ...

Carpeted road stretch in Yala spells death to animals Since the re-opening of Yala National Park on October 7, four Spotted Deer have been killed by speeding vehicles on the recently carpeted Kirinde – Yala road. An adult male antler that died of head injuries was among the four that were killed. The road from Kirinde up to the Park’s ticketing office was carpeted a few months ago. Earlier, ...

New holding ground for rogue elephants needs careful watch The Horowpataha Elephant Holding Ground (EHG) was declared open by the Wildlife and Sustainable Development minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera on Friday. The EHG aims at keeping in rogue elephants responsible for killing people, infiltrating villages and damaging property and those who try to come back after being translocated. The first such ground was constructed at Lunugamwehera but did not succeed. In ...

Sampur power plant may pose threat to marine life Published on SundayTimes on 11.10.2015 http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151011/news/power-plant-at-sampur-a-non-starter-167417.html. Please note that the title of the web version should be changed as “Sampur power plant may pose threat to marine life”  The siting of the Sampur Power Plant seems to be unsuitable with its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) being rejected twice and the third amended EIA report being currently scrutinised by the Central Environment ...

Yala opens amidst tension after shooting of poacher * Wildlife enthusiasts fear wildlife dept. lacks facilities and rangers * Poachers have a free run of the park when it is closed for a month, they say The Yala National Park that was closed for a month during the drought, re-opened on October 7, as scheduled. However, tension prevailed following the death of a poacher during a shootout ...

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