EDGE Community

Saman Gamage
Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Researcher
  • EDGE Fellow Alumnus
[General description section]
I have dedicated my life to biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka. I am currently working as a research officer for FOGSL, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, where I have also submitted an application to register as a PhD student. My tentative title is: Revision of taxonomy distribution habitat preferences and conservation status of slender lorises in Sri Lanka. Since school age my interest in wildlife exploration (especially birds) flourished as I lived in close proximity to rainforests. Subsequently I advanced my knowledge and experience in the fields of biodiversity and conservation as an undergraduate. In 1998 I started researching nocturnal animals and in 1999 I carried out explorations and research projects on nocturnal mammal species with special reference to the red slender loris. In the year 2000 I was graduated from the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka and completed my M.Phil degree in Animal science at the same University in 2005. In 2001 a group of landowners and local scientists including myself initiated a conservation oriented organization named "Land Owners’ Restore Rainforests In Sri Lanka (LORRIS)". This organization is currently a leading organization in the fields of biodiversity exploration, conservation and habitat enrichment in Sri Lanka. I am the current president of LORRIS. We won the BP future conservationists Award in 2006 for a research project based on conservation of montane slender loris of Sri Lanka. I am also a founder member and current president of the "Primate Conservation Society of Sri Lanka (PCSSL)" which was initiated in 2006. We are currently undertaking a programme of mapping the distribution of Sri Lankan primates in the country. Further to this I am an advisor to the Ministry of Environment and Nature resources of Sri Lanka.
University of Colombo

The red slender loris (Loris tardigradus) is a nocturnal primate and has been the focus of considerable research interest over the past decade. However, despite this interest only limited data are available for the accurate evaluation of their conservation status or applied management needs. A group of committed experts and interested parties gathered in February 2009 to determine priority areas to which conservation research funding should be applied. Within the scope of a single year of funding a focus has been placed on provision of required skills training, resolution of key research questions achievable within such a timeframe (species distribution, range and taxonomy), the development of baseline data and a data management and analysis systems to offer a robust measure of change in habitat patch occupancy over time. Provision of training materials and opportunities to develop technical capacity in potential partner organizations such as the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) and the Forestry Department (FD) as well as within educational establishments will also be a significant component of the project.

Finally, a conservation action plan will be generated in concert with findings of field research, and interactions with management agencies that will hopefully act as a guiding foundation document for national commitment to applied conservation management of loris habitat and populations, if deemed necessary by the Sri Lankan Loris Conservation Group following outcomes of this study.

Saman leads the field research and co-ordinates multiple field teams.

Relevant species

The slender loris is characterised by its enormous eyes and extremely thin limbs.

[Relevance of this particular species to you (optional)]
Research interests
Conservation Biology, Field Ornithology, Herpetology, Nocturnal mammals, Primates Taxonomy and Forest ecology
Relevant publications
Gamage, SN, Liyanage, WKDD, Bernede, L, Mirandu, MSK, Weerakoon, DK & Gunawardena, A (In Prep.) A study on effects of habitat fragmentation and fragment size for distribution and abundance of red slender loris in south western region of Sri Lanka.

Gamage, SN, Liyanage, WKDD, Bernede, L, Mirandu, MSK & Weerakoon, DK (In Prep.) Habitat quality, availability and conservation status of the montane slender loris, Loris tardigradus nictyceboides at the Horton Plains National Park.

Bernede, L., Nekaris, K.A.I., Gamage, S. and Gunawardene, A. (In prep.) Ecological Plasticity of the Red Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus tardigradus) in Southwestern Sri Lanka. Paper presented at the Prosimian Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa and to be submitted to Developments in Primatology series. Springer Science.

Liyanage, WKDD, Gamage, SN, Xulong L & Burnet, JE (In Review) Analog forest’s contribution to biodiversity conservation; a biodiversity assessment of an analog forest on a private property in south-western wet zone of Sri Lanka. Chinese Journal of Science.

Gamage SN, Weerakoon, DK, Liyanage, WKDD, Wimalasuriya, S & Gunawardena, A (In Review) Participatory approach of establishing /consolidating forest corridors: A case study of the (ongoing 'LORRIS') analog forest corridor in the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka. Ecological Complexity.

Gamage S.N., D.K. Weerakoon and A. Gunawardena (in press) Habitat quality and availability of the western Ceylon slender loris, Loris tardigradus tardigradus in the Kottawa arboretum. Wild Eye the Journal of Department of Wild Life Conservation, Sri Lanka.

Gamage SN, Liyanage, WKDD, Wimalasuriya, S, & Gunawardena, A (2007) Vertebrate’s diversity in the 30 years of old analog forest in the Pitigala, Elpitiya. Ruhuna Journal of Science. Faculty of Science, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.

Bernede, L. and Gamage, S. (2006) A Guide to the Slender Lorises of Sri Lanka. Education booklet for distribution in Sri Lanka.

Nekaris KAI, Liyanage WKDD & Gamage SN (2005) Influence of forest structure and composition on population density of the red slender loris (Loris tardigradus tardigradus) in Masmullah proposed forest reserve, Sri Lanka. Mammalia 69(2): 201-210.

Telephone: 0094112852409
Mobile: 0094773554230
Email: samangam2004@yahoo.com
Associated Blog Posts
26th Sep 12
The Montane Evergreen Forests (MEF) of Sri Lanka will soon be expanding. This is great news for the Horton Plains slender loris (HPSL), a subspecies which i...  Read

16th Sep 11
Taking a trip to a primary school to join up with a Tuk Tuk rally to do some tree planting was not part of our original plan to launch our forest corrido...  Read

12th Sep 11
The Horton Plains slender loris, also known as montane loris (Loris tardigradus nyctoceboides) is bizarre and adorable all at once. It did a disappearing act...  Read

19th Jul 10
A massive occupancy monitoring programme has been initiated over the past 18 months to assess the persistence of lorises in over 100 of the remaining fragmen...  Read