AGRAPATANA-BOPATHALAWA FOREST RESERVE AREA
Kittle, A.M., Watson A.C, Kumara, P.H.C., Sandanayake, S.D.K., Sanjeewani, H.K.N. and Fernando, S. Notes on the diet, prey and habitat selection of the Sri Lankan leopard in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Journal of Threatened Taxa
Kittle, A.M., Watson, A.C., Kumara, P.H.C. and Sanjeewani, H.K.N. 2012. Notes on the status, distribution and abundance of the Sri Lankan leopard in the central hills of Sri Lanka. CatNews 56, Spring 2012
WWCT conducted leopard monitoring, habitat, and diet use in this area during 2008-2009. We initially started work there as news of leopard movement within a small private acreage of previously tea land adjacent to Torrington Estate reached us. We were invited by Rohan Pethiyagoda who was reforesting this land known as the Agra Arboretum to survey the area and investigate the potential use of his lands by leopards.
The WWCT launched a six-month camera survey there as well as a land-use index survey and a diet survey to try and understand the presence and use of leopards of this area as well as the large Agra-Bopath Forest Reserve that adjoined it which also connects to Horton Plains National Park.
Results indicated a resident female (Fig.1) was using this land as part of her home range and a male which frequented the area made up a section of a population that no doubt moved within the larger landscape.
We also did some forest patch analysis as this patch of regenerating forest was an ideal comparison to our Kandy patch forest (Dunumadalawa) to understand restored patch forest biodiversity and its importance to leopard and overall biodiversity presence.
This work highlights the important role that regenerated patch forests can play in the overall conservation of leopards in the highlands of Sri Lanka.
Fig 1: Photo capture of a resident female seen in the Agra-Bopath Reserve area.