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Found 9 results

  1. Click on the link below to view my travel blog about my research trip to Sri Lanka:
  2. Human-Elephant Conflict and the use of Honeybees: A South African’s Perspective in Sri Lanka "My Master of Science degree, for example, centred on the use of African honeybees to protect marula trees from elephant impact. This research, through the Elephants Alive research organisation, was certainly relevant to the South African form of HEC. What an eye-opener it would be for me then to take over as project coordinator at the Elephants and Bees Project’s Sri Lankan study site earlier in July 2017."
  3. I have recently read an article about fishing cat survey in Cambodia, which led me to this symposium final presentation, detailing the last information available about this little known felid from Asia. The fishing cat is known to live in coastland and inland wetlands. It is found in the Ganga delta, the Terai Arc in the Indian subcontinent. More research is needed in Vietnam and Java to review its presence. Wetland should be urgently protected to ensure this felid correct habitat protection. I would no have expected conflict with humans, but some of the presentation stress on intense conflict in West Bengal for instance.
  4. A few months ago, I was asked to post my »decision making process«; probably because Sri Lanka is not a very well known destination on this forum. I was reluctant to do it before the trip, also because it involved one thing strongly recommended not to do, and I just didn't want to jinx the trip. Now, safely and happily back at home, here I go: Africa captured our hearts, and with 2 trips absorbed and the third one already booked for, I wanted to go somewhere else. In September of 2015, after just finishing 3 weeks of the Azores, I knew it would have to be green, and with prolific wildlife, and with some colourful cultural parts. Asia is colourful, yet I have had no real information about its wildlife side. Luckily my co-worker was travelling through Sri Lanka a month before. Experienced in Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia) his words were encouraging; this was the part of Asia that has still retained some of its old ways. First step was to find out about flights costs. Turkish Airlines is our preferred airline company, both for decent on-board quality given to economy class passengers, but more for its daily flights between Ljubljana and Istanbul. As I liked what I have found, my decision was easy. Not so for Zvezda. She has visited Sri Lanka in 1991, after 2 weeks in India … and according to her words, it was a disaster. Weather, roads, food, environment, general vibe, the only country she has been to and did not want to go back. Me, being a bit of a stubborn guy, dismissed her words as obsolete and outdated. The next step was to go on the relevant Tripadvisor forum, always a good source of useful information. This was not my first impression about the Sri Lanka forum. And then a shock; while researching for self driving options I have encountered replies by local DEs (Destination Expert) and regular members that went from »do not attempt to self-drive« over »only for suicidal persons« toward »plain stupid« . What the heck, it is a 21st century out there, and I am not asking about driving from Sana'a to Mogadishu?! Back to my co-worker. Although more of a backpacker type, he has rented a car for his family, one week. According to him, traffic is chaotic and dense, and one should drive utmost defensively (which he doubted I would be able to do) but if following the rather simple local road rules, possible. Phew! Now I needed to find more first-hand experiences. Most of the folks I contacted did not drive themselves, and warned me against it. But those that did it, said it is entirely doable although not for those with weak hearts or short temper. Maybe not for me, then?! So, either car&driver or to join the organised tour. Second option sounded even worse. Then I reread the only post about Sri Lanka on Safaritalk: by @Nature Traveller . One company is on the list. Going through relevant birding sites I have found two more. A tentative itinerary was sent to them, for 20 days. After a month or so of tweaking the itinerary I also received their quotations. Not happy with what I saw, I turned to car&driver option. Again, three recommended drivers sent me their respective quotations. This time costs were better but the correspondence with them did not meet my expectations. If I am about to spent 20 days in a car with a person not my wife or my daughter, I want to be sure we will »click« even before the journey starts. Didn't happened. OK, let it be self-driving then. A Dutch birder, Alex Schouten has posted his self-driving & birding trip report, and luckily also his email address. He gave me enough assurances that I am not either suicidal nor stupid, and if I have enough experience in driving on the left hand side in the foreign countries, I should go for it. So last piece of the puzzle was solved. And the most important piece, I have to add. And words of our own @@PeterHG were also encouraging enough, although he chose the other way. Not yet entirely sure about my decision, I thought that having a local person in the car for the first few days would add to my driving confidence. One reply on Tripadvisor, one email and one »click« was all I needed. After 5 days spent with Prasanna, I have to thank my guts for telling me he is the man. Self-driving it is! Comparing the quotations received by various car&driver options, and the quotations from specialised birding related tours, the difference between the two was north of 1000 USD border. That says using a driver who would act also as our birding guide would cost us at least 50 USD per day. Not a huge amount, if using one for a week or so. But for 3 weeks, I recon, we are still not so dedicated birders to afford one. Another decision done. Self birding it is!
  5. Hi there, although it´s no african park, I am interested in Yala NP, Sri Lanka. Any suggestions for accomodation, safari companies? We plan eventually to go in January. Is it really that good in Leopards? Thanks for your input. Thomas
  6. Reports To read the full article click here. Do you think this is becoming more and more a problem in African parks, especially those which allow self driving? Are we seeing an increase in wildlife casualties due to drivers speeding to sightings?
  7. All the recent additions to the Show us Your Elephants thread got me thinking about adding some of the photos of Asian elephants I've taken in various places but rather than add them there I felt it would be appropriate to start a new thread. So if anyone has photos or videos of elephants taken anywhere in Asia, please add them here. The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus was once distributed from Syria in the West (until 100bc) to Vietnam in the East and from Northern China south to Indonesia. Now only scattered populations remain in India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia aside from being extinct in West Asia they have also become extinct in nearly all of China with just 300 or so remaining in the far south in Yunnan, they’re also extinct on the Indonesian Island of Java. Somewhere in between 2,000 to 3,000 of the subspecies Elephas maximas sumatranus still survive on the island of Sumatra and around 1,500 so called Bornean Pygmy elephants survive in the Malaysian province of Sabah on the island of Borneo with perhaps just a further 80 in the neighbouring Indonesian province of Kalimantan. According to local legend Borneo’s elephants were introduced to the island in the 18th century by the Sultan of Sulu, though this might seem very unlikely, at the time it was not unusual for domestic elephants to be shipped from one place to another. However recent genetic analysis seems to have disproved this theory indicating that Borneo’s elephants have been separated from the those on Sumatra for around 300,000 yrs and are therefore clearly of Bornean origin. Although if this is the case and they’ve been on Borneo for that length of time it’s remarkable that they appear to have only ever occupied a relatively small of North-eastern Borneo and that no fossil remains of elephants (or virtually none) have been found on Borneo. This has led to the intriguing idea that the Sultan of Sulu legend could in fact be true that elephants are of introduced origin but that they were brought from Java where elephants are now extinct. At present their exact origins have not been determined for certain but what is clear is that they are unique to Borneo and that the name pygmy elephant is a misnomer as they are in fact on average no smaller than Asian elephants found on the mainland in West Malaysia. Presumed Extinct Javan Elephants May Have Been Found Again In Borneo Asian elephants are in decline everywhere their total population is often put at somewhere between 40-50,000 but really this is no more than a guess and the higher figure is almost certainly an over estimate. More on Asian elephants Unfortunately whoever created this IUCN redlist range map forgot to include the Borneo population While the total remaining elephant population is not known what is known is that at least 50% of them are in India and one of the largest populations of Indian elephants Elephas maximus indicus is in the south west. One of the best places to see them there is from a boat on Periyar Lake in Periyar NP in Kerala.
  8. Wow! Just finished a record-breaking wildlife safari to Sri Lanka. With nearly 60 species in the bag, we had an amazingly successful trip. Take a look at our trip report below! Cheers, Coke
  9. Hi All, Here are some photographs covering the diversity of Sri Lankan wildlife taken by me. Enjoy.

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