The Sri Lankan leopard, or panthera pardus kotiya as it is scientifically known, is what is known as an apex predator – meaning it has no natural enemies that prey on it, for food or for sport. For thousands of years, this majestic carnivore has been sitting comfortably on top of the local food chain with no real challengers to the throne, with its kin spread over a significant portion of the island. That is, until that lethal bipedal usurper Homo sapiens started to get in its way.
Founders of the Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (WWCT) Leopard Project Dr. Andrew Kittle and Anjali Watson who have been carrying out exhaustive research into Sri Lanka’s leopard population for the past 15 years on Thursday presented their findings in a public presentation titled ‘The Sri Lankan Leopard – Chipping away at the truth,’ where they were able to shed some light on the many unanswered questions about the country’s only big cat that also happens to be an endangered, endemic sub-species that plays an integral role in the effective functioning of the island’s diverse ecosystems. Read more