Category Archives: conservation

33 birds I photographed in Sri Lanka (and another 22 I didn’t)

Yala Crested hawk eagle 440 wide

On my recent trip to Sri Lanka, birdwatching was slotted in around interviews, hotel inspections, and hours and hours on the road. I did get chance to go on a proper birding walk at Rainforest Eco Lodge in Sinharaja and Hotel Sigiriya though, and saw lots of birds on safari in Yala and hiking in the Knuckles. All in all, I clocked up at least 55 species (that’s just the ones I noted down) and managed… Continue reading

Paying the price: why Sri Lanka’s parks and landmarks need urgent investment

The week after my own visit to Yala National Park, something particularly worrying happened. On August 17, one of the park’s best-known tuskers, Gemunu, came close to a safari vehicle looking for food. This isn’t unusual: he’s been doing it with increasing regularity since irresponsible drivers and guides started letting him take food from the vehicles, to deliver a “thrill” for their passengers. In this alarming Youtube clip from July, he almost topples a jeep over – the driver should never have let him get this close to the vehicle:

Then… Continue reading

Elephants on parade: cool or cruel?

 

Maligawa Tusker at Esala Perahera
Maligawa Tusker at Esala Perahera

By chance, my few days in Kandy in Sri Lanka happened to coincide with the annual Esala Perahera: a spectacular 20-day period of nightly parades which get progressively grander each night, culminating in the Pattini Perahera.

On this final night, I watched almost a hundred elephants and more than 2,000 dancers and acrobats parade past the temple, with the ‘caparisoned’ elephants cloaked in richly embroidered fabrics. The highlight is the mammoth Maligawa Tusker, who carries the… Continue reading

Conservation “with people in it”: the Crees Foundation of Peru

Credit: Crees Manu

[This blog first appeared on ttgdigital.com]

National Geographic claimed earlier this year that Yasuni National Park in Ecuador may be the most biodiverse place on earth. But it’s not a crown Ecuador will wear for long, if a Peruvian conservation organisation has anything to do with it.

Crees is a charitable foundation based in the Manu region of Peru’s rainforest, where visitors can see conservation research and sustainable community development in action. In May, staff and volunteers at Crees plan to undertake their very… Continue reading