WNPS Monthly Lecture Goes Online | Daily News


WNPS Monthly Lecture Goes Online

Unwinding the secrets of elusive Indian Pangolin by Dr Priyan Perera on May 21 at 6 pm live online on Zoom and FB Live

The WNPS Monthly lecture will move to the online platforms until the social distancing rules are removed and public gatherings are allowed by the authorities. The society will commence the online lecture series from its May Lecture.

The Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) is a solitary, elusive and predominantly nocturnal mammal native to South Asia.

Their high adaptability has successfully enabled them to live in an array of natural and human-modified habitats such as tropical rain forests, subtropical thorn forests, deciduous forests, and open scrublands. Despite its ability to adapt to different habitats, Indian pangolin populations are considered to be declining across its range. Key threats include hunting and poaching for its meat and scales, illegal international trade, habitat loss and fragmentation. Pangolins are considered to be the most trafficked wild animals in the world as scales, meat and other derivatives have a high demand in East Asian markets.

The growing knowledge on the international trading and trafficking of pangolins, and the recent listing of Indian pangolin in Appendix I of CITES has generated considerable interest in the species among researchers and conservationists in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, overexploitation of other Asian pangolin populations is believed to have resulted in increased exploitative attention on M. crassicaudata in Pakistan, India and possibly Sri Lanka for illicit international trade. However, lack of reliable scientific information has impaired the accurate assessment of their conservation needs. Many facts on the distribution, ecology and behavior of M. crassicaudata in Sri Lanka remained as mysteries till the initiation of “Pangolin Conservation Project” by the Biodiversity and Sustainability Research Group of the Department of forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura in 2014. This narrative talk discusses the current knowledge on Indian pangolin with special reference to Sri Lanka, and identifies key research priorities for better conservation planning of the species.

Dr. Priyan Perera is an environmentalist and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Forestry & Environmental Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Priyan received his PhD in Forestry from the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA, USA in 2011 and holds Masters’ degrees in Forestry and Environmental Conservation from the same University. Priyan is interested in interdisciplinary research related to Environmental management and wildlife conservation.

He is currently the Head of the Biodiversity and Sustainability Research Group of the Department of forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

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