The Elephant and Wildlife Conservation project has an award-winning approach to protecting elephants and wildlife which are found in the national park and local communities.
Each day will differ but volunteer tasks include helping with:
- Elephant monitoring and observations – recording population data (number, gender, age), assessing condition and documenting any injuries
- Inspecting elephant dung – to monitor the diet of the elephants
- Camera traps – setting up the camera equipment and examining photos
- Sand traps – recording tracks captured and setting up new sand traps
- Bird and wildlife research on transect walks
- Monitoring fences and elephant paths
- Assisting in building and mending fencing to protect homes and farmland from damage by elephants
- Interviewing villagers to document human-elephant conflict and help to identify practical solutions
The project is unique in Sri Lanka as their award-winning model focuses on researching wild elephants whilst working with the community to help them live peacefully together. They help the local farmers live alongside over 300 wild elephants and other wildlife by running initiatives to reduce potential conflict.
The team are researching the population and distribution of wildlife including elephants, sloth bears, leopards, rusty-spotted cats, fishing cats, jungle cats, golden palm civets and jackals. This research is used to monitor and understand population changes.
As a volunteer, you have the chance to visit the forest national park during your placement. You can also explore ancient cities, colourful temples and beautiful wild countryside in your free time.