Dunkeld Conservation Station
- Dick Oya, Sri Lanka
The Dunkeld Conservation Station, housed
within the Dunkeld Estate in close proximity to the Dilmah Tea gardens factory and
overlooking the Castlereagh reservoir was officially opened on the 11th
of August 2016 (Figure 1). A small renovated bungalow that once housed
the chief clerk of the tea estate is now home to the WWCT field team (Fig.2).
It has allowed for efficient field work in this region of Sri Lanka’s Central
Highlands to be conducted from this site and will we hope become a Research and
Conservation Station that will add to the value of the Peak Wilderness area and
enable targeted conservation work in the region.
This partnership between Resplendent Ceylon’s
Tea Trails/Dilmah Conservation and WWCT was formed in response to the leopard
mortality incidents in the area in early 2016.
All involved realized the need for targeted conservation in the Central
Highlands, now declared a world heritage site.
By having a research and conservation station
in this area of the country, long term monitoring of these important montane
forests is now possible. WWCT also works
closely with the government regional Department of Wildlife Conservation
offices to increase community awareness of the importance of these watershed
forests and improve targeted conservation measures such as removal of illegal
snares set for animals and reduction in forest destruction.
Figure 1. Guests and Dilmah management arriving for the opening of the
Dunkeld Conservation Station (images captured on remote cameras set up in
2. The Dunkeld Conservation Station situated in the vicinity of the Dilmah tea
factory is home to WWCT’s research team.