Community-based Education and Outreach programs seek to reduce poaching by increasing the willingness of villagers to report poaching, wildlife trade, illegal hunting and land clearances to the government authorities. We practice community-based conservation methods, based on sound scientific research and the needs of the local people to manage the local ecosystem, protect communities and their livelihoods, and ensure the long-term protection of our endangered wildcats.
Field research is the scientific study of a species’ natural history. Where are the wild cats located? What kind of habitat do they use? What do they eat? What are their activity patterns and social organizations?
Without all these answers, it is impossible to design an effective conservation plan. Without knowing how large the population is, or their preferred habitat, suitable protected areas cannot be determined. Information is gathered with the use of radio telemetry equipment, camera traps, box traps, scat and track surveys, and interviews with local people Alongside these projects, we conduct scientific research on Sri Lanka's most endangered wildlife species. Our research began with the endangered Sri Lankan leopards, but has subsequently extended to include Sri Lanka's elusive carnivores including small wild felids.
A critical component of wild cat conservation is monitoring of the population, which allows us to better understand population numbers & long-term trends. Only through intensive monitoring can we determine whether our conservation actions are having a positive impact. Camera trap data provides the most rigorous measure of population, however projects also utilize traditional methodologies such as line transacts and pug mark surveys.
Aspects of foraging ecology and habitat utilization are really important in wild cat conservation. Therefore we conduct fecal sample analysis study of wild cats to get better understand of their foraging ecology and habitat use.
The main goal of our anti-poaching activities is to reduce the poaching of leopards, small cats and their prey in protected areas & buffer zones. We aim to address threat to wild cats by supporting anti-poaching initiatives that make use of the most effective technology and use SMART monitoring techniques.
As our human population grows, wildlife is left to compete with us for space to live and food to eat. If the forest does not provide food, carnivores can stray into human areas and ‘steal’ farm animals. The goal of the project is to mitigate the human-leopard conflict in the areas surrounding the protected areas; this is where conflict can occur. We work with communities providing advice, assistance and in some cases compensation to those affected by conflict.