HUMAN-LEOPARD COEXISTENCE INITIATIVE
This initiative has grown organically, arisen from the need to address the incidents of leopard mortality and human-leopard related incidents that have occurred recently. Although comparatively and thankfully these numbers are not in alarming proportions, WWCT now sees the need to ensure targeted action is taken so as to prevent the possible escalation of this into a conflict situation such as seen in countries like India.
Through our ongoing work we have also realized that reasons for leopard mortality and human related incidents are varied across the island and a better understanding of the underlying factors influencing this is required so that solutions can be context and location specific.
The WWCT and the DWC would like to come up with long-term solutions to reduce fear and perceived threats from wildcats and to prevent further damage to local livelihood, which is often what causes retaliatory or incidental killing of the leopard. We would like to ensure that endangered wildlife do not become extinct in specific regions, for example the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, which is now recognized as a natural World Heritage site and where leopard morality is high.