Devaka Weerakoon

Devaka Weerakoon
University of Colombo · Department of Zoology

BSc. MSc. PhD

About

117
Publications
75,979
Reads
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721
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 1986 - present
University of Colombo
Position
  • Professor in Zoology
Education
January 1991 - August 1995
Illinois State University
Field of study
  • Immunology
August 1988 - December 1990
Illinois State University
Field of study
  • Biochemistry
September 1981 - October 1985
University of Colombo
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (117)
Article
Full-text available
Pahiyangala forest reserve is located in the Kalutara district near a small hamlet called Yatagampitiya about five km from the Bulathsinhala town. The forest fragment is better known due to Fa Hsien’s cave (more commonly referred to as the Pahiyangala cave), which is one of the largest natural caves in Asia. It is approximately 175 feet tall and ov...
Chapter
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The government of Sri Lanka has taken a decision to ban oil palm cultivation and replace the land that is currently used for oil palm cultivation to rubber or other environmentally friendly crops as oil palm is perceived to have a number of negative social and environmental impacts. However, a detailed analysis of the concerns raised about the impa...
Article
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Sri Lanka is a moderate sized continental island with an extent of 65610 km2 of which inland waters make up 2905 km2. Further, Sri Lanka has a maritime area of 517,000 km2 which is almost 8 times larger than its land area. Although a small island, Sri Lanka is endowed with a rich natural capital. This paper aims to present an overview of the natura...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge on social and cultural systems is essential for comprehensive understanding of ecosystem changes, monitoring biodiversity, development and implementation of resource management strategies. Social values of coastal landscapes reveal the attributes of locations and their relative importance for people. Aim of the study was to evaluate the c...
Chapter
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The aim of this chapter is to provide a brief overview of the positive and negative developments that took place during the year 2020, which has direct and indirect impact on Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity resources. Since biodiversity is referred to as the variability within and between species and the variability of the complex systems that result...
Article
Full-text available
Provides a comprehensive report on the status of species in Sri Lanka, including new species discovered during 2020, species recorded for the first time in Sri Lanka, changes in the distribution status of species, changes in nomenclature, new invasive species recorded and overall update on the statistics of the species.
Article
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Sri Lanka due to its rich biodiversity and strategic location has engaged in international trade of wildlife since ancient times. At present, international trade of wild fauna and flora is a multimillion dollar industry which is also a major conservation issue, especially as many of the traded species are threatened species or international trade h...
Book
Full-text available
After the 30-year long civil war was over, the Government of Sri Lanka commenced an accelerated programme to develop the Northern Province. If not carefully planned, such a programme will result in the loss of biodiversity and the consequent loss of services that ecosystems provide humans. Therefore, documenting the biodiversity found within coasta...
Article
Full-text available
Recreation and tourism represent a major opportunity and nexus for managing the interaction between ecosystems and people, including particularly to urban ecosystems, where people living in an environment, that its' contact with natural or semi natural ecosystems is often limited. The Negombo lagoon has proven to be an important recreational site i...
Technical Report
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A total of 61 endemic species were assessed. Of these, 12 point endemic species were listed as Critically Endangered (CR); 24 range-restricted species were Endangered (EN); and nine species were Vulnerable (VU). In addition, five species were Near Threatened (NT); two were listed as Data Deficient (DD); and the remaining were listed as Least Concer...
Conference Paper
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Coastal wetlands are important foraging and breeding habitats for waterbirds. Studies on foraging and nesting habitats of waterbirds are essential for the conservation strategies. The present study was carried out in Mankumban to identify significant waterbird habitats for foraging and nesting in the Jaffna Peninsula. Three counting blocks in lengt...
Conference Paper
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Community-based tourism provides livelihood, minimize leakage from the local economy and strengthen conservation. Three decades of armed conflict kept the northern region off limits for avitourism development. The aim of the present study investigated spatio-temporal patterns of waterbirds in Kavutharimunai (9 0 34' N 80 0 7' E) to identify high po...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Waterbirds use many kind of coastal wetlands including swamps, lagoons, estuaries, bays, mudflats and open beaches. The present study was conducted to assess the community structure of waterbird families in Thadduvankoddy, Kapputhu and Nagarkovil in Jaffna Peninsula. Three counting blocks in length of 500 m with open width was selected in each site...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Waterbirds use wetlands due to the diversity of microhabitats for feeding, nesting and resting. Surveys were conducted to determine the diversity and habitats used by waterbird communities in Mandaitivu, Northern Province, Sri Lanka (90 37’ to 90 38’ N latitude and 79 0 59’ to 80 0 00’ E longitude) from December, 2016 to November, 2017. Birds count...
Poster
Full-text available
Waterbirds use wetlands due to the diversity of microhabitats for feeding, nesting and resting. Surveys were conducted to determine the diversity and habitats used by waterbird communities in Mandaitivu, Northern Province, Sri Lanka (90 37’ to 90 38’ N latitude and 79 0 59’ to 80 0 00’ E longitude) from December, 2016 to November, 2017. Birds count...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Assessment of the ecological damage resulted due to an unauthorized forest clearance by a contractor in Nawaneliya - Beligoda Reserve Forest in Sri Lanka. The Project Management Unit of the Mahaweli Water Security Investment Project engaged IUCN Sri Lanka to undertake the assessment. Due to time and data limitations, this assessment was performed u...
Article
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Waturana is the local (SInhala) term used to describe freshwater swamp-forests which may have been a quite extensive in the past, but reduced to vestiges today due to conversion of many of these swamp-forests in to other land use types such as plantations and human settlements. Walauwawatta-Waturana is a small swamp-forest patch with an extent of 1...
Article
Full-text available
Kirtisinghe's Rock Frog (Nannophrys marmorata) is endemic to Sri Lanka and is found only on the northeastern slopes of the Knuckles Mountain Range, where a short wet season is followed by a prolonged dry season. The dry season is characterized by high air temperature, low relative humidity, and strong desiccating winds. These frogs take refuge in r...
Article
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Weligama coconut leaf wilt disease (WCLWD) causes heavy losses in the coconut cultivations of southern Sri Lanka. The in-house developed and validated indirect ELISA was based on specific polyclonal antibodies raised in female New Zealand White rabbits, against partially purified WCLWD associated phytoplasma. This ELISA has the potential to disting...
Data
Predicted sizes for secA gene fragments following digestion with AcuI, AgsI, ApoI, BsrDI, BstKTI, BtsCI, CviKI-1, DpnI, EcoRI, HinfI, HpyCH4V, MboI, MboII, MnlI, MseI, PleI, PsiI, Sau96I, SetI, TaqI, TspDTI. (DOCX)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Wetlands are important contributors to biodiversity worldwide. In the present study, diversity and abundance of water birds, phytoplankton and zooplankton were investigated to evaluate the importance of Kavutharimunai for water birds in Northern region of Sri Lanka. Three counting blocks in length of 500 m with open width was selected for bird coun...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to establish a baseline set of data for heavy metal contaminants in diverse ecosystems in Sri Lanka using bird feathers as a bio monitoring tool. During May to July 2014 heavy metal concentration (Hg, As, Cd and Pb) was assessed in bird feathers and regurgitated materials of Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) as well a...
Book
Full-text available
After the three decade-long civil war was over, the Government of Sri Lanka commenced an accelerated programme to develop the Northern Province. If not properly planned, these developmental projects will result in the loss of biological diversity and, in particular, the consequent loss of services that ecosystems provide humans. One of the importan...
Article
Full-text available
The majority of Sri Lanka’s endemic and Critically Endangered western purple-faced langurs, Semnopithecus vetulus nestor, inhabit fragmented and densely populated areas. Habitat loss and fragmentation resulting from agriculture and development may have an impact on the purple-faced langur’s social organization and create challenges to their surviva...
Conference Paper
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Tourism contributes to economic growth, sustainable development as well conservation of untouched resources and rich biodiversity in post-conflict areas. Tropical climate, habitat heterogeneity, historical locations with cultural and religious importance and seasonal festivals make Jaffna, an ideal destination for avitourism development. The presen...
Conference Paper
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Mammalian conservation in Sri Lanka has mostly focused in the protected area network which only covers >30% of the nation's land area. Bats are relatively mobile and their overall fitness depends on landscape-scale features, including habitat suitability both inside and outside protected areas. To study the bat communities outside Sri Lankan conser...
Article
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In Sri Lanka, there are 31 species of bats distributed from lowlands to mountains. To document bat diversity and their habitat associations, 58 roosting sites in Maduru-Oya National Park periphery were surveyed. Fifteen bat species were recorded occupying 16 different roosting sites in this area. Among all the species recorded, Rhinolophusrouxii wa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Biodiversity-rich tropical island of Sri Lanka is not isolated from ongoing global-scale biodiversity loss. Declining populations of native fauna and flora can be attributed to a plethora of human activities. Predominantly, such anthropogenic activities involve deforestation, invasive alien species, global environmental change, modifications in nat...
Conference Paper
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This Abstract is about diversity of Waterbirds in Kavutharimunai in the Northern Sri Lanka.
Article
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The Critically endangered Kirtisinghe’s Rock frog (Nannophrys marmorata) belonging to an endemic genus, is a restricted range species confided to areas within the Knuckles mountain range. Although some basic facts on its ecology have been reported previously, information on morphometry and population dynamics is scanty. The present study was conduc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Jaffna Peninsula is one of the main entry and exit points for migratory birds that use the Central Asian Flyway. However, ornithological studies and Avitourism have been rare in the Jaffna Peninsula as the study area was inaccessible for three decades due to the armed conflict. The present study was done to determine spatial variation of water...
Research
Full-text available
Abstract published in the Australasian Ornithology Conference 2017 at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.
Article
Population health and habitat quality are intimately related and seasonal changes in habitat quality are likely to be reflected in the body condition of animals. We studied seasonal variation of body condition in free ranging Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka based on visual scoring of individually identified e...
Presentation
Full-text available
Nannophrys marmorata Kirtisinge, 1946, is one of the four rock dwelling frogs within this endemic genus. It is categorized as a Critically Endangered species because of its confinement to the Knuckles mountain range, a habitat exposed to severe tropical seasonality (short wet season and prolonged dry season). No information is available to date on...
Poster
Full-text available
Nannophrys marmorata (Kirtisinghe’s marbled rock frog) is a critically endangered, endemic frog confined to moist rock crevices in the Knuckles mountain range, Sri Lanka. Micro-environments change on a fine spatial scale and at a rapid rate affecting the capacity of small ectotherms such as amphibians, to adapt to these alterations. Thus, for N. ma...
Article
Full-text available
The nature of an ecosystem shapes human culture, heritage, values, social interactions and knowledge systems as well as amenity services (i.e. aesthetic, tourism and recreation, artistic, spiritual and intellectual development) considerably; thus, any changes in an ecosystem can have significant impacts on cultural services for societies. In light...
Presentation
Full-text available
Kirtisinghe’s marbled rock frog (Nannophrys marmorata Kirtisinghe, 1946) is an endemic, critically endangered frog restricted to the rock crevices in Knuckles Mountain range. The northeastern side of Knuckles experiences severe tropical seasonality with a short wet season and a prolonged dry season with high wind velocities. Hence this abstract cha...
Article
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Wetlands are highly productive ecosystems, which are also extremely sensitive to anthropogenic perturbations. Biodiversity is a vital element of wetland habitats, not only because of the unique and critical services they offer but also since selected components could be used as ideal indicators of ecosystem health. This paper presents baseline info...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Indigenous medicinal practice in Sri Lanka talks about powerful compounds extracted from native plants for treating venomous snake bites which are hardly documented in literature but are used by the indigenous doctors for thousand years. Objective: We screened the neutralizing ability of a herbal preparation practiced in indigenous medi...
Thesis
Nannophrys marmorata (Kirthisinghe’s marbled rock frog) is a relict endemic species confined to the Knuckles mountain range in Sri Lanka. The present study investigates demographic, ecological and behavioural strategies of the species that have enabled it to endure effects of severe tropical seasonality in its habitat. Secondary data were collected...
Article
Full-text available
During the breeding seasons the Little Egrets’ feeding grounds become limited to the vicinity of the heronries. Therefore the food availability and their diversity of these areas are important for the survival of offspring. The study was conducted during the breeding seasons from May to September in 2014 and 2015 at five heronries representing diff...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bird feathers have been investigated as a non destructive method for assessing environmental contaminants. This has not been explored in Sri Lanka and owing to islands unique environmental profile a set of baseline data needs to be established as an initial step. Little Egret were selected for this study due to their wide spread nature and the occu...
Chapter
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Conference Paper
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The urban development projects are currently established in and around Sri Jayawardenapura Municipal Council area tend to change the landscape with the excavation of the mud in the bottom of irrigation systems and small lakes. Increasing the depth of canals and tanks will result in change the elevation of such areas below mean sea level (MSL). If t...
Conference Paper
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The endangered Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya Deraniyagala, 1949) is the only big cat species native to Sri Lanka, ranging from lowland to highlands. They are habitually poached for pelts and other body parts, including for medicinal use. In addition, due to habitat degradation human-leopard conflict has slowly risen throughout the past...
Chapter
Full-text available
The geographic boundaries have provided the essential requirement of isolation for species and ecosystems to evolve. However, human intervention supporting long-distance movement of plants and animals have made several species cross geographical and political barriers, enter new habitats and become invasive in the introduced environment. Developmen...
Article
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The three Anous noddy species are pelagic, rather enigmatic seabirds with a pan-tropical distribution. Brown Noddy A. stolidus and Lesser Noddy A. tenuirostris are breeding residents in the Indian Ocean (Gochfeld & Burger 1996, Rasmussen & Anderton 2012). The Brown Noddy is a mediumsized, chocolate brown tern with a distinctive grey-white crown, bl...
Presentation
The western purple-faced langur (Semnopithecus vetulus nestor) is endemic to Sri Lanka and is considered as critically endangered. It has been considered as one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world due to rapid human induced habitat alterations. The aim of this study was to determine the ranging behavior with relation to food and substra...
Article
Full-text available
Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758 is listed as an Endangered species (Choudhury et al. 2008). The Sri Lankan sub population of Asian Elephant is also listed as a Nationally Endangered species (MOE 2012). In addition to its wild population, Sri Lanka currently maintains a captive population of elephants for various purposes including exhibition, work a...