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Another new EDGE Fellow!

By on January 23, 2008 in Uncategorized, EDGE Updates, EDGE Fellows, Mammals

EDGE recently welcomed another new EDGE Fellow to the Team: Vijitha Perera from Sri Lanka. Vijitha will be focussing his project on the Slender loris. Here is what he sent us:

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Sri Lanka is considered as a one of the Global Biodiversity Hotspots. There are six non-human primate species in the country. Three of them are endemic to country. Two species of slender loris (Loris tardigradus and Loris lydekkerianus) are found in Sri Lanka, both of which are Endangered, but only one of which is endemic (Loris tardigradus tardigradus).  The smaller red slender loris has not been the object of long-term behavioral and distribution studies.

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Under the EDGE fellowship, I intend to conduct the a year-long survey of a red slender loris taxon, at the Knuckles Range of Central Sri Lanka. The Knuckles range is considered as conservation area and known as the Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness area. Dr. C. Bambaradeniya (Coordinator – IUCN Asia Regional Species Conservation Programme) is my supervisor on this project. The results of this study will yield an action plan for the conservation of montane slender lorises in Sri Lanka’s remnant rainforest patches. 

 I have been working as a wildlife veterinarian in Sri Lanka since 1998. I attend primate rescue, rehabilitation and translocation activities routinely along with other wild animal species. The loris is the favourite animal species of mine. I have contributed for the three scientific presentations regarding primates. I have contributed to the publication of Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 most Endangered Primate Species, 2006-2008 and Loris tardigradus nycticeboides. In: Conservation International’s Field Guide to the Primates of South Asia. 

I have obtained the veterinary degree in 1995 and master’s degree on Biodiversity Conservation Management in 2003 from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. I got the Diploma on Endangered Species Management on 2004 from the University of Kent, UK. Further, I have followed the short course on wild animal health management at the College of African wildlife Management, Tanzania.