Dilmah Conservation which has continuously invested in identifying lesser known species to ensure their conservation, through its Novel Species programme, identified that re-assessing Sri Lanka’s amphibian fauna for the Global Red List as an agreeable outcome which would also contribute towards strengthening the conservation efforts of these threatened and endemic species.
In the past 25 years, the number of Amphibian species recognized in Sri Lanka has more than doubled, with new appreciation of the very high level of endemism among the amphibian fauna. Almost all the field research done during this period had been focused on taxonomy, though important work had also been done on aspects of evolution and biogeography. Although the amphibian fauna had been included in the 2005 Global Amphibian Assessment, and hence represented in the IUCN Global Red List of threatened species, the dataset used for that assessment was almost wholly derived from the WHT collection.
The first stakeholder meeting comprising of was held on 2nd February to discuss the possible deliverables of a consolidated effort towards the conservation of Amphibian fauna in Sri Lanka. Dr Simon Stuart, Former Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission had recommended that a technical collaboration be established between Dilmah Conservation and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust for the purpose of obtaining the scientific advice needed for these activities.
At a second meeting it was agreed that an executive meeting with Dr Simon Stuart, the former chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission would be organized to identify the logistical aspects of project implementation and determine feasibility of proposed project. This meeting deliberated upon setting uniform datasheets for data collection along with a mechanism on how data will be handled and analysed.
The way forward was discussed at a meeting with Dr. Simon Stuart and Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda in April 2019. Following this, Dr. Simon Stuart shared his expert knowledge on conservation at a public lecture which focused on why the Red List process is relevant to countries such as Sri Lanka and how it benefits threatened species, showcasing both conservation successes and failures. Learn more