Future Plans & Challenges

Future Plans

Over the years we have accumulated a substantial amount of scientific information. Much of that still needs to be analyzed and published.  Publication is one of our primary near-term scientific aims.  In addition, our studies of the comparative ecology of the three species of primates at Polonnaruwa will continue.  This involves demographic monitoring as well as some detailed ecological and behavioral studies. One of the advantages of doing a long-term research of this kind is that it provides opportunities to accumulate sufficient information about relatively rare behavioral events, such as foster mothering, predation, female dispersal, or caring for twins.

Our nature education outreach programs in and around Polonnaruwa will also continue. We need to expand and improve our outreach programs, but funds are limiting.

Biggest Challenges

The survival of primates and other wildlife is very much a function of the availability of natural forest habitats. As in many parts of the world, forest areas are shrinking with the effect that some local animal populations go extinct owed to habitat loss. Conservation of natural habitat is often at loggerheads with economic aims. The challenge, therefore, is to find and develop a synergy between the requirements of economic growth and nature conservation.  Our approach has been to enlighten the stakeholders by pointing to the economic as well as cultural benefits of nature. We set an example, by attracting foreign visitors to Sri Lanka to celebrate its wildlife.  We are also trying to mitigate the effects of monkey-human conflict that inevitably follows in the wake of human encroachment on wilderness areas.  Learn more.

On another level, our biggest immediate challenge is finding funds to support our scientific and conservation efforts. Our financial difficulties have been exacerbated by the long-term war in Sri Lanka.