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Project Leopard

Background:

Recent studies show that the Yala National Park, in Southern Sri Lanka supports one of the highest densities of leopard in the world. The growing population of leopards at Yala has led to leopards venturing out of the park to the surrounding buffer zone of agriculture and pastoral land and feeding on cattle, prompting revenge attacks that claim an estimated 10–12 leopard lives annually around the periphery of the park. The means adopted is a simple but effective solution of making steel pens to herd the cattle calves in place of traditional weak stick and barbed wire pens used by village herders as per a concept developed by wildlife enthusiasts, the late Dr. Ravi Samarasinghe, Shirom Kulatunge and Darrel Bartholomeusz, members of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society.

 

Objective:

Mitigating the human-leopard conflict in the villages adjacent to Yala National Park through the provision of portable steel-fenced pens to herd domestic cattle.

 

Impact:

A total of 76 pens have been donated since the inception of the project. While there have been no reported killings of cattle belonging to farmers who have benefited from steels pens, over 60 leopards are estimated to have been saved since project inception in 2010 up to December 2016.

 

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