MAY – AUGUST 2008
SRI LANKA WILDLIFE NEWS (MAY 2008 – AUGUST 2008)
– A compilation by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne. Assisted by Avanti Wadugodapitiya and Anya Ratnayake.
[*] Leopard sighting at Horton Plains National Park (See Reports).
[*] A Forktail Fairytale (See Articles).
[*] Ormiston’s Oakblue found after 90 years.
[*] Photographic Guide to Flowers and Mammals (See Publications).
BIRDING AND WILDLIFE NEWS
The Gathering of Elephants at Minneriya continues strongly as before with several observers reporting good numbers of Elephants. By the third week of July, several people have reported sightings of over 150 elephants, in one field of view. By August, 200 plus elephants were being seen on the lake bed. Sri Lanka Tourism is also actively engaging in publicising The Gathering.
Rohan Pethiyagoda on 29th July 2008 sent in the following situation report on human-leopard conflict at Agraptana in the highlands in the Nuwara Eliya district. He says “We have reports of two leopards having been killed in our area in the past few weeks, one on Preston Division of Albion Estate, which is about 1 km northwest of us, and the other on Diyagama West, which is about 7 km east. In both cases the hides, teeth, claws and meat had been sold (which, if nothing else, shows there is still a market for these items). The leopard that frequents our property at Agrapatana has not been sighted for about the past 3 weeks, so we are worried that it may have been one of the victims. A year ago we had an adult female and two large cubs on our land, and it could be that these are among the animals recently killed by the local villagers (the adult was last sighted in our land about a month ago). Unfortunately, I have no details on how the animals met their end: the local people, however, routinely hunt sambar with packs of dogs and spears, and probably chanced on the leopards”.
Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne send in this report dated Sunday 13th July 2008 Model Farm Road in Colombo. “An Athikka (Ficus racemosa) tree is laden with fruit. But one batch that had ripened seemed to have been heavily harvested by birds and bats in the previous few days. A real treat today was the very first Silverstreak Blue I have seen. Only a few weeks ago on 29 May 2008, Michael van de Poorten gave a lecture in the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society’s monthly lecture series. He showed pictures of the Silverstreak Blue he had taken on an Ahatu tree from the 7th floor of the Kandalama Hotel in Kandalama. He explained that it is overlooked because of its arboreal habits. It was a pleasant surprise to find it in Colombo. d’Abrera also mentions that his first observation of it was in Colombo.
This takes my Colombo species list of Butterflies to 55 species. The list is made up mainly from Borella, Kotte Marshes and Talangama.
I also observed a Common Palmfly perched on Athikka fruit. I suspect it was feeding on plant juices. Its mouth was covered by leaves and so I could not be totally sure”.
Chandima Jayaweera on a tour with Prof. Ian Donald Howarth & Anna from 3rd May to 10th May 2008. The following sightings were reported. One Leopard at Yala National Park on 5th May at 8.45 a.m on Madapara. On 7th May at around 10.15 a.m they have seen one leopard and two cubs near Diganwala on the Main Road. They have managed to see 27 endemic birds including Bay owl at Sinharaja on 8th May at around 6.20 p.m.
Wicky Wikramasekara, Desmond Moorhouse and Stephanie visited Yala National Park on the 3rd and the 4th of July, 2008. They saw 2 pairs of blacked-necked storks at Buthawa Lagoon as well as Uraniya Wewa. Wicky says it is note worthy as he and his colleagues have not seen them during the last season. They also reported that they have had good sightings of single sloth bear male near Rukwila and a female bear and two cubs seen near Meynet Wewa. They also saw a leopard twice and a tusker.
Ormiston’s Oakblue found after 90 years
Ormiston’s Oakblue has been recorded after about 90 years at Kanneliya forest. The first sighting was by Chamitra de Alwis on 15th May. The second sighting was by
Michael van der Poorten on July 8th, when he was with Sameera. The most recent sighting was on July16th, again by Chamitra de Alwis. 1 or 2 individuals were seen at each sighting. No females were seen. Michael van der Poorten confirms that the identity is certain. He is presently working on a book on the butterflies of Sri Lanka which is due later in the year.
Priya Edirisinghe sends in the following report. “We went to Uda Walawe Wildlife Society Bungalow on Friday 23rd May and went out on the afternoon trip. We left for Yala at 4.30 am the next day, doing the morning and afternoon trips, with a sandwich breakfast at Patanangala beach and lunch along with the one day room at Yala Safari. We returned to Uda Walawe Wildlife Society Bungalow at around 8.30 pm. We went out on the morning trip on Sunday at Uda Walawe and returned to Colombo that afternoon.
There first two trips were nothing to talk about. The afternoon in Yala was fine, with 2 leopard sightings and we saw a mother bear with two cubs by the side of the Heenwewa Bungalow Road. I have never seen a mother with two cubs. We took some pictures. The Sunday morning trip to Uda Walawe was interesting with a couple of mock elephant charges etc…
These were the Visitor statistics:
Uda Walawe 1st Afternoon: 2 vehicles, Morning: 2 vehicles.
Yala Morning: 4 vehicles, Afternoon: 7 vehicles
Uda Walawe Sunday morning: 4 vehicles.
On all the trips, we were the only Sri Lankans. The Army checked the vehicles, we had to fill forms including details of names, ID numbers etc. Only then did the WL office issue the entry permits. However, we did not feel uneasy – it was just like a normal visit, as before. The absence of many vehicles in Yala gave us an undisturbed viewing but on the down side one looses the info of sightings conveyed by passing vehicles. There is nothing like staying inside a Park Bungalow. However, all-in-all, it was a good break after 5 months!”
Athula Dissanayake reported a hundred elephants at Minneriya in the early stages of The Gathering on Monday 23rd June.
A Forktail Fairytale by Amila Salgado.
The fact that the endemic Clubtail dragonfly; Sri Lanka Forktail (Macrogomphus lankanensis) occurs in my home garden was known to me after a photograph that I took of one in June, 2007 was identified by the Odonatologist Matjaz Bedjanic, to be a male of this rare & endemic Clubtail. On 18 May, 2008, I photographed a Sri Lanka Forktail at close range in a thickly vegetated corner in my yard “maintained” in an overgrown state to invite the regular avian migrant; the Indian Pitta. I was not able to determine the gender of this individual.
Thereafter, on the following Sunday, I was fortunate to stumble upon a mating pair in the “wheel position” hanging from a coconut frond in my garden when I went specifically in search of the female form of this rare Clubtail. This made this discovery all the more satisfactory. This was for all intents and purposes a marathon mating effort lasting over a half and hour. It allowed me to photograph them closely and to study the little known female closely. I was able to see that the female had a larger body with noticeably ‘fatter’ look to it and that the yellow spots along its body were bolder than in the male. When I compared these new photographs with the ones taken a week ago, I was able to trace that those were in fact of a female.
Very little is known of the female. Its previous records include Karen Conniff seeing it in a jungle just next to the Walawe River, north of Ambalantota in September 2007. But it eluded photography on that occasion.
On a more surprising development, on 30 May- Friday night, while watching the first IPL cricket semi-finals on TV, I noticed a dragonfly above my TV. I thought that it surely must be an Indian Duskhawker (Gynacantha dravida), which at times crashes into my house at nights. However, on close inspection, it was different to any Duskhawker that I knew and it suddenly dawned on to me that I was looking at a female Sri Lanka Forktail, which appears to be following me now! It was raining cats and dogs outside. Suddenly, it dawned on to me that I have two cats and a bulldog on the loose. After ensuring its safety, I photographed it and thereafter, instead of releasing it, I decided to keep her in a box and to release her at daylight the following day and went to sleep. This was because it could potentially get damp and disoriented again in that rainy night, which would expose it to more harm. The release was successful.
I was fortunate to have found a female in my own yard of the Sri Lanka Forktail. My thanks, to Matjaz Bedjanic for his help and encouragement and, to Nancy van der Poorten for providing me with the information on the female Clubtail.
To read more about the Clubtail dragonfly and to see the pictures of the females visit my blog at http://gallicissa.blogspot.com/
Coastal Pennant Photographed
By Amila Salgado
A dragonfly that I photographed at the Weerawila tank was identified by Odonatologist; Matjaz Bedjanic as a Coastal Pennant (Macrodiplax cora).
I was quite pleased about this observation as Matjaz, following the identification mentioned that the authors of the Dragonflies of Sri Lanka had tried to photograph this to be included in the book but were unsuccessful. Before that, Karen Conniff had also urged me to look for it on my travels to the ‘Deep South’.
I arrived at the Weerawila Tank from Tissamaharama road end at around 10.00 a.m. on 9 August, 2008 with 3 French photographers to improve the angle of a big aggregation of water birds seen previously. Unfortunately, there was little bird photography we could do due to the strong winds experienced on this day – so much so that we were worried to keep our scopes unattended.
On the positive side, in the grassy belt of land protected by the strong gusts of winds thanks to bund of the tank was a swarm of dragonflies – with 1000s of dragonflies. ‘Dragonfly swarms’ occur when adults exhibiting a stereotypical tight interweaving flight pattern, form a high-density aggregation within a confined area. Swarms are often composed of multiple species.
The species observed in the order of the abundance (as casually observed) in the swarm observed included Dancing Dropwing Trithemis pallidinervis, Scarlet Basker Urothemis signata, Asian Groundling Brachythemis contaminata Oriental Scarlet Crocothemis servilia & Coastal Pennant Macrodiplax cora.
This particular case of swarming appeared to provide protection from the high winds and also probably due to the prey abundance as the winds surely must have also swept a high concentration of small insects to seek protection of this ‘safety zone’ similarly.
The photo of Coastal Pennant photographed will appear in my blog http://gallicissa.blogspot.com soon.
Nuwara Eliya Wildlife Report
by Nadeera Weerasinghe, Naturalist – Jetwing St. Andrews
07th June 2008
On the 7th of June 2008 I accompanied Mr. & Mrs. Woren & Jamie Worn on visits to Horton Plains National Park. At around 8.00 AM, this area was completely covered by mist but by the time we reached Worlds End, it cleared up and after a day of trekking we were back at the car park around noon. On the way back, Nilaweera from the Wildlife Conservation Department also joined our group.
Upon leaving the car park we drove for another 1 km and then I suddenly sighted a leopard sitting near the tree which was bordering the forest and grassland at 12.35 PM. We had a clear view of leopard and a little while after we stopped the vehicle, it moved towards the forest and was out of site. We stopped there and waited some time before it suddenly came back on to the road a few minutes later. It was on the road for another few seconds and we had very good view of him. Then another vehicle came from the ticketing side to the park entrance and animal jumped in to the forest and disappeared. But just after the vehicle passed that location, it came back out and started walking for about 50 meters along the road before it disappeared into the thicket on the opposite side of the road. We had very good view of it and realise that it was a fully grown male. We waited for some time and then we left the place.
While we were looking at the leopard to our left, less than 10 meters away a female Ceylon Whistling-thrush was on a tree and we had a good view.
During this visit Barking Deer were sighted near Ambewela Farm and near Worlds End. A troop of Highland Bear Monkeys were also sighted as they crossed a foot path above us.
The composition of the group was as follows.
7 Adult Females along with 4 Infants
3 Adult Males
We were also able to spot the following faunal species during this visit.
Rhino-horn Lizard (Ceratophora stoddartii)
Cope’s roughside (Aspidura copei)
13th June 2008
Today I visited Horton Plains National Park on the 7th of June 2008 with 3 clients. In the morning around 10.30 AM, we reached Worlds end and about 50 meters before Worlds End we sighted a male and female Ceylon Whistling-thrush feeding on the footpath. We had very good view of the pair at a distance of about 7 to 10 meters and were able to take good video footage.
During this visit we sighted the following interesting faunal and floral species:
Rhino-horn Lizard (Ceratophora stoddartii)
Cope’s roughside (Aspidura copei)
Black-cheek Lizard (Calotes nigrilabris)
Flora in Bloom:
Ma- rath Mal (Rhododendron arboreum)
Butter Cup (Ranunculus sagittifolius)
We also photographed an unidentified orchid species in bloom near Worlds End.
28th June 2008
Pygmy Lizard (Cophotis ceylanica) sighted and photographed in Jetwing St. Andrew’s. This is the second authentic record after approximately 7 years for the Nuwara Eliya city area. The first sighting was also recorded and photographed in Jetwing St. Andrew’s Wetland on 20th April 2008.
Nuwara Eliya Climatological Information
Mean Temperature :
Daily Min – 12.8 c0
Daily Max – 18.5 c0
Mean Total Rainfall : 164.9 mm
Mean number of Rain Days : 17
Jetwing St. Andrew’s Re-develops the Wetland
The re-development of the wetland area and Interpretation Room commenced on 25th of June 2008. Stakeholders of Jetwing St. Andrew’s were invited for this event where it was patronized by schools, suppliers and staff of the Jetwing St. Andrew’s. Nadeera Weerasinghe, Resident Naturalist of Jetwing St. Andrew’s, mentioned that this was a good opportunity to showcase the important initiatives that we are taking to preserve the environment that we live in, to the local community. This project is definitely very unique for the hospitality industry in Sri Lanka and we believe that we are heading in the right direction in developing sustainable tourism in Nuwara Eliya.
Wildlife observations for the month of August 2008
by Chandra Jayawardene, Naturalist – Jetwing Vil Uyana
On the 07th of August 2008, I accompanied a group of guests to Sigiriya, and while explaining the fresco paintings and their various significances my attention was drawn towards a loud screaming call – “hehehehe”. It was a small bird of prey which was darting towards the steep northern precipices of the rock and disappeared, probably into a crevice in the rock wall, where it was very likely to be nesting. It continued its deep call until an answering call was received and a new bird appeared round the rock carrying a swallow or a swift in its talons. This individual also darted into the same area as the first bird, which was most probably its mate. The calls continued for few more minutes before stopping.
I promptly identified the bird as a Shaheen falcon, due to its size. These birds are the smallest falcons found in Sri Lanka and are almost the size of a Black Shouldered Kite, but slimmer in stature. Some other characteristics of these falcons are their ashy-black heads and upper bodies, white throats and cheeks, their lower bodies are of a deep shade of rufus brown and they have pointed wings that are dark brown around the edges. They are also easily identifiable by their characteristic call.
According to Cicely Lushington this bird is a rare find, even though it is a resident species. During its breeding season which begins in June the birds are easier to spot flying from their respective nests. Constructed on an inaccessible ledge of a rock, the nests are built with a collection of sticks. Inside, will be a clutch of brownish yellow to brick red eggs that are marked with specks or blotches of reddish brown. They feed on small to medium sized birds and thrive around the Sigiriya rock face due to its healthy population of swifts and swallows.
During one of the safaris to Minneriya National Park, on the 15th of August I was fortunate to have seen the first flock of migratory waders for the season in the Kiri Oya estuary’s mud flats, before entering the reservoir in small numbers. The flock comprised of Common Sand pipers, Little Stints, One Mrash Sandpiper, two Green Sand Pipers and a few Kentish Plovers. On a subsequent visit I had observed the number of birds gradually increasing with additional new species such as the Red shank and Curlew Stint. On the 04th of September when I visited the Park with Mr.Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, the CEO Eco Holidays we saw a single Grey Plover. I would like to further state that the resident water birds are localizing the reservoir in good numbers along with birds of prey.
During the month of August, when I visited the Minneriya National Park on five different occasions I observed about 100 to 250 elephants gathered around the reservoir for fodder and water. Due to time constrains I was unable to take the days counts according to their age groups, but at a glance it’s possible to say that the populations appeared to be stable. These elephants will be in the area until the monsoon breaks up flooding their feeding area towards mid October or so.
It’s was good to see two small herds of Spotted Deer in the area, but they are still very “fleet footed”.
Wildlife observations for the month of August 2008
by Upali Nissanka
August 28th 2008
During a tour with Mr. and Mrs. Ray Randal, to the Sinharaja forest we saw a Serendib Scope Owl about 300 meters from the main entrance of the forest at 7.30 AM.
September 1st 2008
On the same tour at Yala National Park, we saw a Black bear with two cubs playing before Malittan Katuwala lake at 5.00 PM.
September 2nd 2008
On that same tour at Yala National Park we saw a leopard near Malittan Katuwala at 10.00 AM. We also saw another leopard at 4.30 PM.
Sri Lankan Frog makes it to ‘The Top 10 new species described in 2007’
Each year the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) announces a list of the Top 10 New Species for the preceding calendar year. The Top 10 new species described in 2007 was announced on May 23, 2008.
At number 4, is (Philautus maia), from Sri Lanka. This species was described from a single female museum specimen collected around 1860. It and a number of related species from Sri Lanka are almost certainly now extinct. Its discovery demonstrates the importance of museum specimens in determining baseline information on biodiversity and in documenting the natural heritage of nations. Had this specimen not been collected in the 19th century, it would possibly have never been known. The Holotype is in Natural History Museum, London.
For more details see; Meegaskumbura, M., K. Manamendra-Arachchi, C.J. Schneider & R. Pethiyagoda. 2007. New species amongst Sri Lanka’s extinct shrub frogs Amphibia: Rhacophoridae: Philautus). Zootaxa 1397: 1-15.
The mission of the International Institute for Species Exploration is to inspire, encourage and enable the advancement of taxonomy and exploration of earth’s species. The IISE represents a convergence of cutting-edge computer science and engineering with the goals of descriptive taxonomy. The results will include a transformation of taxonomy, the rapid discovery of earth’s species, and open access to reliable information about them.
Taxonomy is unique among the biological sciences in its historical focus, broadly comparative method, and utilization of collections. Taxonomists ask questions about monophyletic groups – groups that include all species descended from a common ancestral species. Thus, their research is worldwide and unconstrained by geographic, ecological or temporal boundaries associated with experimental biology. Taxonomy is inherently a “big” science demanding access to all relevant specimens, regardless of where or when they were collected. Because collections are distributed in scores of countries, it was impossible in the past to “see” all relevant specimens efficiently. The IISE and its partners seek infrastructure, instruments, and practices necessary to build a virtual distributed “species observatory” for taxonomists. Transforming taxonomy into a planetary-scale science will allow it to answer questions that have remained beyond reach for centuries.
Galle Art Trail and Galle Film Festival
Come and spend the long October weekend in Galle. Walk The Galle Art Trail and enjoy The Galle Film Festival with late night screenings, live jazz, wine tastings and a masked Arts Ball. There will be over fifty artists’ works for sale, painting on everything from traditional canvas to pots and pans. Sri Lanka’s best photographers and sculptors will be exhibiting in over twenty locations. Along with an exciting range of artist workshops, art talks, a craft market, garden parties and gourmet dinners, The Galle Film Festival will be showing over twenty-five international and Sri Lankan films.
The Galle Art Trail and Galle Film Festival open on October 24th 2008 and the main events will run on the 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th & October 31st through to November 2nd. For more information email: email@example.com or call Juliet Coombe on 0776838659 if you know any artists who might be interested in coming along. Check out www.gallefilmfestival.com , the full programme of workshops and talks will be on-line from September 1st
European Union Regional Programme in Asia
Asia represents 40% of the global economy and is becoming the world’s main manufacturing hub. To be sustainable, industries need to apply more efficient ways of using natural resources and to reduce the creation of waste and pollution.
The European Union has launched a € 90 miillion programme from 2007 – 2010, namely SWITCH Asia which responds to this need. SWITCH Asia will seek to engage in partnership projects to help SMEs switch to more sustainable production processes and technologies and change unsustainable consumer behaviour. The programme will be implemented by mobilizing the private sector and aims to strengthen cooperation between Europe and Asia. Thus projects must be designed to help SMEs access the right knowledge, training and technologies to improve use of inputs and reduce waste on the one hand and/or address the consumer to encourage changes in behaviour to demand more environmentally friendly products and services.
The main beneficiaries of this programme are expected to be;
a) Intermediary business organisations, apex bodies and networks (eg. Chambers of Commerce, Industry associations)
b) (Not for profit) Organisations aiming at pursuing sustainable development.
c) Government institutions at local level.
The overall indicative amount available under this call for proposals is: An allocation of approximately € 23,000,000 will be made available on a yearly basis. The next call for proposals is expected in the 3rd Quarter of 2008 and all relevant information pertaining to the call will be published on the EC Delegation’s website: www.dellka.ec.europa.eu An indication of the funding available is as below:
For more information contact Harshini Halangode, Economic Cooperation, The Delegation of the European Commission to Sri Lanka & Maldives 26, Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka Tel: +94 11 2674413 – 4 Fax: + 94 11 2678860
Bedjanic, M., de Silva Wijeyeratne, G., and Conniff, K. (2007). Dragonflies of Sri Lanka. Gehan’s Photo Guide Series. Jetwing Eco Holidays: Colombo. 248 pages (A5). ISBN 978-955-1079-15-4. Rs 1,750.
The first photographic field guide to the dragonflies of Sri Lanka covering 91 of the 118 species found in Sri Lanka. It includes 35 of the 52 endemic species. A landmark publication and the first modern photographic field guide to the Odonata of South Asia. A pdf of the book can be downloaded (free of charge) from www.jetwingeco.com.
BirdGuides Ltd. (2007). British Birds interactive. DVD-ROM. £99. www.birdguides.com
A comprehensive resource of 100 years of amazing articles published in British Birds including photographs, illustrations and more than 40,000 pages of text. Users have access to text and image search filters, photographs, illustrations, thousands of articles and can locate articles using species, author, photographer or descriptive terms.
BirdGuides Ltd (2006). Birds of the Western Palearctic interactive (BWPi 2.0). DVD-ROM. £139. www.birdguides.com
The entire text of The Handbook of the Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East (the complete 9-volume set, known as BWP). All the text, maps and artwork (including all the new species illustrations) from the Concise Birds of the Western Palearctic (the 2-volume set, known as Concise BWP). 75 comprehensively revised species accounts from the journal BWP Update. Over 2000 high quality video clips (more than 10 hours running time) from the extensive BirdGuides archive. BWPi contains 6 million words published in BWP and Concise BWP including 75 extensively revised species accounts from the authoritative journal BWP Update. Over 5600 illustrations of over 900 species, showing birds at rest and in flight and in various plumages, accurately painted by some of the world’s best artists including Ian Lewington, Chris Rose and Alan Harris.
de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (Due 2008) A Photographic Guide to Mammals of Sri Lanka. New Holland, London. 128 pages. ISBN 978 1 84773 142 5.
The first photographic guide to the mammals of Sri Lanka, richly illustrated with photographs and packed with information. 40 species are described covering all the terrestrial mammal families. The text is based on the many years of field work by the author but also brings in what has been published in the latest scientific literature. Many intriguing aspects of mammalian behavior are written in a style intelligible to the lay reader.
de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2007). A Pictorial Guide and Checklist of the Birds of Sri Lanka. Jetwing Eco Holidays: Colombo. 66 pages. A4. Rs 850.
A lavishly produced checklist with photographic plates facing the checklist pages. Photographs of 281 species. The checklists contain a map of key birding sites in Sri Lanka, a booklist, a discussion on the uses of a checklist and the nomenclature, taxonomy and the status of birds as used in the checklist. Twenty one columns of tick boxes.
de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2007). Sri Lankan Wildlife. Bradt Travel Guides, UK. 144 pages. 13.5 cm x 21.5 cm. ISBN-10 1 841621 74 9, ISBN-13 978 1 841621 74 6.
An overview of Sri Lanka’s wildlife and wilderness areas, illustrated with over 120 photographs. Probably the best overall introduction to Sri Lankan wildlife. Text and principal photography by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne. GBP 15.99.
de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2007). Portrait of Sri Lanka. New Holland Publishers, London. 120 pages. Hard Cover & Dust Jacket. ISBN 1-84537-110-0.
A beautifully designed souvenir guide to Sri Lanka’s people, culture, landscapes and wildlife. A part of New Holland’s Portrait series.
De Silva, M. & de Silva, P.K. (2007). The Sri Lankan Elephant. Its evolution, ecology & conservation. WHT Publications (Pvt) Ltd. Colombo. 278 pages. ISBN 978-955-9114-39-0. Rs 1,750.
de Vlas – de Jong, J., and Dr. de Vlas, J. (2008). Illustrated Field Guide to the Flowers of Sri Lanka. 269 pages. Mark Booksellers and Distributors (Pvt) Ltd: Sri Lanka. ISBN: 978-955-1917-00-5.
Descriptions of approximately 1000 plant species, which are illustrated with more than 2000 colour photographs of flowering plants in Sri Lanka. The information presented is written in simple English and is divided into various topics which are easy to understand.
Fernando, Jayaindra and Thivanshi. (2008). A selection of Fruits of Sri Lanka. Published by the author. 72 pages. ISBN 955-50431-1-3.
Colour illustrations of 85 species of fruits. Hard cover. This is the only illustrated guide to Sri Lanka’s fruits which includes endemic, native and introduced species. Rs 1950.
Gamage, R. (2007). An illustrated guide to the butterflies of Sri Lanka. Published by the author. 264 pages. ISBN 978-955-50360-0-9.
Colour illustrations of 244 species of butterflies and skippers. Some of the plates show some of the food plants. A 5 in size. The inclusion of the host plants make it a useful addition to the butterfly watcher’s library. Rs 2,000.
IUCN Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Environmental Resources. (2007). The 2007 Red List of Threatened Fauna and Flora of Sri Lanka. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 148 pages. ISBN 978-955-8177-63-1.
Morgan – Davis, M. (2008). From Ceylon to Sri Lanka – Experiences of a Naturalist
Tea Planter. 166 pages. Sarvodaya Vishva Lekha Printers: Sri Lanka. ISBN: 978-955-
Designed in the form of a typical 19th century explorer naturalist style, the author has set out to capture the minds of his readers so that they could read about some of his life’s adventures which he experienced as a young man in “Ceylon”. The narrative on the frontispiece given below sets the tone.
“The Experiences, Adventures, Encounters and Memories of a Naturalist Tea Planter in the Jungles, Patanas, Lakes, Rivers and Coastal Waters of the most Bountiful Island variously known over the Millennia as Naga Dwipa, Lanka, Tambapanni, Taprobane, Ilankai, Serendib, Ceilão, Ceylan, Ceylon and, of Recent Times, as Sri Lanka. Wherein a Myriad of Handsome Birds and Terrifying Beasts once occurred in Great and Splendid Numbers for the Pleasure and Wonderment of Sportsmen, Naturalists and the Peoples of this Most Fair of all Islands in the Indian Ocean. All of which has been Enriched by Diverse Illustrations, Photographs and Maps.”
The book comprises of 21 chapters, of which the first two speak about his early years. A few others include “Yala National Park – A Legacy from the Kingdom of Ruhuna, Crocodiles – The Leviathans of Sri Lanka” and “Mannar – Baobab Trees and Palmyra Palms”. The book also features a variety of maps, photographs and paintings of both the author and of various Sri Lankan folklore and wildlife.
Zeylanica. (October 2007). Volume 7, No 1. WHT Publications (Pvt) Ltd. Colombo. 124 pages. ISSN 1391-6270. Rs 1,000.
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