The WNPS Monthly Lecture titled ‘Leopards of Wilpattu National Park- Insights into a stronghold population of the island’s only Big Cat’ will be delivered by Dinal Samarasinghe via Zoom and FB Live on Thursday, November 19. Those interested are welcome to Sign up online. https://forms.gle/NnFQEEod7hE14kvh9
The Sri Lankan Leopard is one of eight subspecies of Leopards in the world, and it is endemic to the island. This large felid is the island’s only apex predator and is categorized as an endangered subspecies by the IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) primarily due to losing ~37% of its native habitat. The lecture will provide key insights about the population of Leopards in Wilpattu National Park based on a study conducted in 2018, and discuss future conservation implications.
In addition, it will also provide a synopsis about the leopard, its global status, biology, and its importance in the ecosystem.
Over the last 10 years Dinal Samarasinghe has conducted research on amphibians and on the taxonomy of the water monitor complex in south Asia. Currently, his research is focused on human-wildlife conflict mitigation and carnivore/apex predator population ecology: Saltwater Crocodile and the Sri Lankan Leopard.
He is a member of the amphibian, water monitor and crocodile specialist groups of the IUCN species survival commission.