WNPS monthly lecture via online | Daily News

WNPS monthly lecture via online

WNPS Monthly Lecture, February 2021 titled From Woodies to Plovers: an untold story of our national identity will be delivered by Dr. Sampath S. Seneviratne on February 18 at 6 pm via zoom and FB Live.

Birds are high in a list of biological treasures of any country. Few such lists match the extraordinary wealth of Sri Lanka’sbiodiversity, and when it comes to avifauna, the exceptionally high number of endemics - the species found nowhere else but in Sri Lanka – is a salient feature of this island nation.

                  Dr.Sampath Seneviratne

Our 100 or so endemic races amounts to nearly a third of all breeding birds of Sri Lanka. That is one of the highest proportions of endemicities for any country in the world.This is as a result of Sri Lanka’s island nature that drives animals to isolate, which makes Sri Lanka of special interest not only to local ornithologists and birdwatchers, but draws those from overseas as well. The WNPS has been raising its concern on the habitat destruction taking place in Mannar and elsewhere, threatening this very nature of Sri Lanka that gives nearly 5% of its GDP.

A deep dive, armed with cutting-edge science and novel technologies,into our Victorian past or to the heart of Sri Lankan wilderness, would expose a picturefar fascinating than what you see in your day-to-day field guides. In the light of recent discoveries of Hanuman Plover and Red-backed Flameback, Sampath will illustrate the art and science of finding new birds and how that revolutionize the understanding, valuation and protection of our own national identity.

Dr. Sampath S. Seneviratne is a research scientist specializes in the study of evolution, molecular ecology and ornithology. His laboratory, Avian Evolution Node studies how animals evolve in isolation in an island biogeography framework using both field- and laboratory-based research. His research programme spans across oceans, islands and forests throughstudies onrainforestendemics in Sri Lanka and Western Ghats, and bird migration in the Central Asian Flyway. Sampath is a birder, a painter, a naturalist anda conservationist. He is a General Committee Member of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society, Senior Lecturer attached to the Department of Zoology and Environment Sciences, University of Colombo.

The WNPS Public Lecture is presented in association with Nations Trust Bank and open to all.