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D.M.S. Suranjan Karunarathna

D.M.S. Suranjan Karunarathna
Nature Explorations & Education Team (NEET) · Biodiversity

M.EM. University of Colombo
Studying the taxonomy and ecology of amphibians and reptiles

About

182
Publications
179,469
Reads
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784
Citations
Citations since 2017
64 Research Items
502 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
Introduction
I have studied wildlife conservation and management in Sri Lanka from year 2000 under various academic and research institutions. During this time, I was able to gain experience on ecology and biodiversity conservation by working with a number of government and non-governmental organizations related to the environmental and wildlife sectors. I also provide leadership for numerous public outreach and informal educational activities related to biodiversity conservation and nature. I continue to serve as an expert committee member on herpetofauna in the National Red List Assessment since 2004 in Sri Lanka.
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - August 2018
Trunks & Leaves Inc.
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Our goal is to raise awareness about Asian elephants and their habitats, locally and globally, compiling resources and tools for education, research and conservation. http://trunksnleaves.org/about-us.html
August 2016 - March 2017
ICC Resorts (PVT) LTD, Colombo
Position
  • Ranger
July 2012 - June 2013
Born Free Foundation
Position
  • Country Assistant
Description
  • Organizing monthly workshops in the village and the region about biodiversity conservation and restoration; eco-friendly crop farming; managing human and animal conflicts; welfare activities in elephant transit home, Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka
Education
August 2015 - December 2016
University of Colombo
Field of study
August 2013 - August 2014
University of Colombo
Field of study
August 2012 - October 2013
University of Kelaniya
Field of study

Publications

Publications (182)
Book
Full-text available
Sri Lanka is recognized as one of the amphibian hotspot in the world due to its high diversity of amphibian species as well as of the 112 currently known species, 89% are endemic to the country. As at present there is an increase in the interest in conducting research by academics and amateurs on various aspects of amphibians. Thus, it was felt tha...
Article
Full-text available
Some species do well in human-modified habitats and thus such habitats can be considered as alternative habitats for the conservation of threatened species only, if no natural habitats are available. During one of our surveys on the black terrapin (Melanochelys trijuga) in Sri Lanka, we selected to investigate one out of six visited ponds in the Ku...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Cyrtodactylus has recently been classified phylogenetically into several clades, subclades, groups, and some into Sri Lankan Cyrtodactylus. Certain complexes from the Indian subcontinent have been assigned to the “C. triedrus group”. This group is comprised of medium-sized species (SVL 50.6–105.7 mm) and are composed of five major species...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological responses of nocturnal predatory birds to forest cover and other geospatial predictors vary both geographically and taxonomically. Considerable knowledge gaps exist regarding the habitat associations of the Sri Lanka Frogmouth, a nocturnal bird restricted to Sri Lanka and the Indian Western Ghats. Via a 20-year island-wide survey, we sea...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sri Lanka is a global biodiversity hotspot, and also harbour a unique and largely endemic assemblage of reptiles, especially agamid lizards. Twenty (90%) out of the 22 species in the island are endemic and nearly 68% of these are threatened with extinction. Several species are restricted to a single, small range (<100 km 2 ; i.e. micro-endemics). D...
Article
We re-evaluate the taxonomic identities of five-lined skinks of the genus Eutropis (E. trivittata, E. beddomei, E. nagarjunensis, and E. bibronii) inhabiting the Indian subcontinent. Previously it has been considered that E. trivittata is distributed in the western India and E. dissimilis in the northern India (from north-eastern India up to Pakist...
Article
Full-text available
Providing physical protection to wildlife is among the most high-risk professions in the conservation sector as it is directly associated with the prevention of wildlife crimes. In Sri Lanka, the Department of Wildlife Conservation is the primary government agency responsible for the long-term conservation and protection of biological diversity. Si...
Article
Full-text available
The small sized, non-venomous, and fossorial colubrid snake genus Aspidura Wagler, 1830 is endemic to Sri Lanka. Aspidura ceylonensis (Günther, 1858) is rare and restricted to mid-elevation to montane and sub-montane forests at elevation of 500–1300 m a.s.l. in the Central Highlands and the Knuckles massif. It is found in cool and well-shaded fores...
Book
Full-text available
A bibliography on the Testudines and Crocodilians of Sri Lanka: a Checklist and an Annotated Bibliography (de Silva, 1998) was published approximately 23 years earlier. It listed 378 references pertaining to testudines and crocodilians of the country. The current monograph list 852 references including all the references that st were listed in the...
Article
Full-text available
The tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a rich terrestrial and aquatic reptilian fauna. However, like most other tropical countries, the threat of climate change to its reptile diversity has not been adequately addressed, in order to manage and mitigate the extinction threats that climate change poses. To address this shortfall, a review of the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This species is known from Kaduannawa in Kandy District, in Sri Lanka's Central Province, at 427 and 435 m asl. The broader Kadungannawa area has an area of 600 ha and an altitudinal range between 354 and 587 m asl. The species' closest relatives have type localities within around 40 km straight-line distance, suggesting that this species has a gen...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This species is known only from Keerthibandarapura, Walapane, Nuwara Eliya District, in Sri Lanka's Central Province, at elevations of 539 and 562 m asl. The Keerthibandarapura area covers an area of 900 ha and an altitudinal range of 500-750 m asl. It is thought unlikely to be more widespread than presently known, but this requires confirmation th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This recently-described species is known only from rock caves in Nilgala savanna forest in eastern Sri Lanka. it is widespread within, but localized in rocky areas of, the Nilgala savanna forest, which has an area just below 12,500 ha. It is unlikely to be much more widespread, as monsoonal savannah grassland is not extensive in this area of Sri La...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This species is known only from Kumaradola, Maragalakanda, Monaragala District in Sri Lanka's Uva Province, at elevations of 421 to 437 m asl. The broader Maragalakanda area covers an area of 4,100 ha and an altitudinal range from 354 to 750 m asl.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This species is known only from granite caves in Bambarabotuwa, Opanayake, Ratnapura District, in Sri Lanka's Sabaragamuwa Province, where it has been collected at 445 and 458 m asl. Bambarabotuwa Forest Reserve covers an area of 3,500 ha and an altitudinal range of 380-850 m asl. It may be more widespread in forest in this protected area, but this...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This recently-described species is known only from Udamaliboda, and from the Lihinihela, Borangamuwa and Warnagala areas of Samanala Nature Reserve, all in Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka. It has been recorded from 435 to 634 m asl. It has not been found in surveys of surrounding areas.
Article
Full-text available
We examined the holotype of Euprepes innotatus Blanford, 1870 which was presented to the Natural History Museum, London (NHMUK) by Blanford himself, and is redescribed herein. Based on the morphological similarity, we placed Eutropis innotata within the E. carinata group (contra Blanford, 1870), as it is closely allied to E. dissimilis and E. carin...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated diminutive day geckos of the genus Cnemaspis in Sri Lanka, and based on morphological evidence, two populations belonging to the C. alwisi group within the C. podihuna clade are described. Both populations are morphologically closely allied to C. hitihamii, but can be clearly distinguished based on a combination of morphological cha...
Article
Full-text available
Karstic landscapes are immense reservoirs of biodiversity and range-restricted endemism. Nowhere is this more evident than in the world’s third-largest vertebrate genus Cyrtodactylus (Gekkonidae) which contains well over 300 species. A stochastic character mapping analysis of 10 different habitat preferences across a phylogeny containing 345 descri...
Article
Full-text available
A new day gecko of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 is described from the intermediate bioclimatic zone (Haputale Forest and Idalgashinna Forest in Badulla District) of Sri Lanka. The new species belongs to the Cnemaspis kandiana clade and was recorded from granite caves and abandoned buildings within forested areas. The region in which these habi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The illegal wildlife trade is one of the most lucrative multi-billion-dollar enterprises, involving direct exploitation of flora and fauna around the world. Much of the illegal wildlife trade tends to be associated with a number of charismatic and/or high-profile species and elephants fall into the top-end of this category. Number of studies have b...
Article
Full-text available
The gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus is the third most speciose vertebrate genus in the world, containing well over 300 species that collectively range from South Asia to Melanesia across some of the most diverse landscapes and imperiled habitats on the planet. A genus-wide phylogeny of the group has never been presented because researchers working on...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study was undertaken to document the baseline Biodiversity and Ecological conditions of the wetlands within the proposed wetland park at Hayleys Fabric PLC, Narthupana Estate, Neboda. The proposed wetland park is located in Kalutata District of Western Province (6°37’32.7”N 80°04’40.8”) adjoining to Kalu river by bordering Horana-Anguruwatota-...
Article
Full-text available
The illegal wildlife trade is considered one of the major threats to global biodiversity. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) have been highly valued by various cultures for use in religious and spiritual contexts, as a draft animal, and more recently, as a tourist attraction. Thus, the demand for captive elephants is high. Wild Asian elephants are t...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Ceratophora (horn-lizards) comprises six species, all of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Herein, a new species of Ceratophora is described based on morphological and molecular evidence. The new species is restricted to the Salgala Forest (~300 m asl elevation) in the Kegalle District of Sri Lanka, which is in the northern part of the wet...
Article
Full-text available
Frogs of the genus Microhyla include some of the world's smallest amphibians and represent the largest radiation of Asian microhylids, currently encompassing 50 species, distributed across the Oriental biogeographic region. The genus Microhyla remains one of the taxonomically most challenging groups of Asian frogs and was found to be paraphyletic w...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the syntype series of Eutropis rudis (6 specimens) collected from Sumatra and Borneo, currently deposited at the Natural History Museum, London, and it was observed that the type series is composed of two species. In order to stabilize application of the name, we designate a lectotype for E. rudis from Sumatra. Mabuya lewisi, described...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated diminutive day geckos of the genus Cnemaspis in Sri Lanka, and based on morphological evidence, a new species belonging to the C. podihuna complex is described herein. The new species occurs in lowland wetzone (alt. 50 m a.s.l.) forests and adjacent human habitations which have a dense tree cover in Gampaha District, near Colombo, t...
Article
Full-text available
Liopeltis calamaria, a rare non-venomous colubrid snake of South Asia, is redescribed. Its syntypes and all the available type specimens of its recognized synonyms are examined, including information about the respective populations found across India and Sri Lanka. Our literature compilation and mapping analyses reveal three distinct populations-(...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In September 2019, the IUCN/CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit held a workshop to complete IUCN Red List assessments for 169 species of snakes and lizards of the 230 currently (September 2019) described reptile species known from Sri Lanka, as part of the Global Reptile Assessment. Additionally, a preliminary Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) assessment was...
Article
Full-text available
Kelani River is the fourth longest river in the South-Asian island, Sri Lanka. It originates from the central hills and flows through a diverse array of landscapes, including some of the most urbanized regions and intensive land uses. Kelani River suffers a multitude of environmental issues: illegal water diversions and extractions, impoundment for...
Article
Full-text available
Three new day gecko species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 are described from three isolated granite cave habitats with rock walls in Bambaragala (Ratnapura District), Dimbulagala (Polonnaruwa District), and Mandaramnuwara (Nuwara-Eliya District) in Sri Lanka based on morphometric and meristic characters. All of these new species are assigned...
Article
Full-text available
Jaffna peninsula is quite an unexplored area of Sri Lanka's lowland dry zone. We constructed a species checklist for all herpetofauna of this area based on a short-term field survey, a comprehensive literature review, museum specimens, and observations made by field herpetologists. Based on 200 × 10 m belt transects, we surveyed herpetofauna both d...
Book
Full-text available
Sri Lanka’s location, historic and geologic isolation from the continental landmass, topography and climate act to shape its biogeography and biodiversity, including conferring a remarkably high level of endemism, given its close proximity to the mainland. The island hosts several ‘point endemic1 species and even monotypic endemic genera. However t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Freshwater accounts for a minor fraction (0.01%) of the global water budget and occupies <1% of Earth's surface, yet supports nearly 10% of known species, including a third of global vertebrate diversity. Freshwater ecosystems constitute a multitude of natural resources that carry socioeconomic , scientific, and educational benefits. Yet, freshwate...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The day geckos (Cnemaspis) are diminutive, slender-bodied geckos with crepuscular behavior. These geckos are mostly rupicolous with a few being arboreal and ground-dwelling. Most members of this genus have a cryptic morphology and coloration, which help in camouflage. Sri Lankan Cnemaspis clade has undergone much taxonomic revisions, where a number...
Article
Full-text available
A new day gecko species of genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 is described from a midland forested area of Udamaliboda (north-western foothills of Samanala Nature Reserve) in Sri Lanka. This species is medium in size (30–35 mm SVL) and can be differentiated from all other Sri Lankan congeners by a suite of distinct morphometric, meristic, and color char...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The island of Sri Lanka is home to 21 species of draconid lizards including 19 (~90%) endemic species. Nearly 62% of these species are listed as threatened with 7 critically endangered, 5 endangered and 1 vulnerable, however this number may change as conservation status of four species described after 2012 are not assessed. A number of taxonomic re...
Article
Full-text available
Six new day gecko species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 are described from geographically isolated forested hills (Bambarabotuwa, Kadugannawa, Kokagala, Kudumbigala, Maragala and Walapane) in Sri Lanka based on analyses of morphological and molecular traits. We provide an updated mtDNA-based genealogy of Sri Lankan Cnemaspis and provide furt...
Article
Full-text available
A new day gecko species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 is described from a geographically separated forested area in Ensalwatte, Matara district, Sri Lanka. This species is medium (34-35mm SVL) in size and can be differentiated from all other Sri Lankan congeners by a suite of distinct morphometric, meristic, and color characters. The species...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 is described from Nilgala Savannah Forest in Sri Lanka. The new species is diagnosed from all other congeners by the following suite of characters: small body size (SVL< 33 mm), dorsal scales on trunk homogeneous, one pair of post mentals separated by a single small chin scale, ventral scales on trunk smooth...
Article
Full-text available
Yala National Park is a hotpot for the mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) as large numbers of it inhabit the park. The mugger feeds on a variety of animals such as fish, birds, reptiles, chelonians, amphibians, crabs and small to large mammals. We report here the first report of it feeding on a pangolin (Manis crassicaudata).
Article
Full-text available
The tricarinate skink Scincus multifasciatus was described by Kuhl in 1820, without the subsequent designation of a type specimen or specific type locality. In 1930, Mertens assigned the type locality as Java, Indonesia, but still with no type specimen. Therefore, in order to stabilize the name with a recognized type specimen, we designate a neotyp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Sri Lanka frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger) is a small-sized nocturnal bird largely restricted to tropical lowland forests with thick undergrowth. The motionless roosting posture as well as their plumage coloration and color patterns (which resemble that of tree stems and branches) enable them to camouflage and thereby avoid predation. Throu...
Article
Full-text available
The endemic Sri Lankan keelback (Balanophis ceylonensis) is a snake largely restricted to rainforests of the island. Based on an 11-years field survey covering 83 field sites and rescued specimens, we present an autecology of B. ceylonensis. We recorded 32 individuals of B. ceylonensis at 25 field sites. All snakes were found in 10 – 1000 m altitud...
Article
Full-text available
The homalopsid snake Gerarda prevostiana is known from parts of southern Asia and lives in coastal brackish-water habitats. For six years we surveyed 50 such habitats around the coastline of Sri Lanka and recorded the distribution and behaviour of this species. We also observed captive G. prevostiana to understand microhabitat use and behaviour. Du...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Distribution of Kerivoula hardwickii, Hardwicke’s Woolly Bat, in Sri Lanka is restricted to the central highlands and to the northeastern region of the country, and so far, only recorded from four distinct locations. In Sri Lanka, this species was last documented in the year 1994 and no subsequent surveys recorded this species in Sri Lanka, thus co...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
Naja naja is broadly distributed in southern Asia and the only cobra species recorded from Sri Lanka. Throughout its continental Asian range, N. naja varies greatly in color pattern. Herein, we reported a new color morph of a juvenile N. naja in Sri Lanka.
Article
Full-text available
The tropical island nation of Sri Lanka is a biodiversity hotspot with a high diversity and endemism of amphibians. The endemic, stream-dwelling Kandian torrent toad Adenomus kandianus is Critically Endangered and was considered to be extinct until its rediscovery in 2012. The species is now known from two localities in tropical montane forests. We...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Rapid expansion of road networks is not uncommon in and around protected areas of Sri Lanka where numerous national parks attract amasses of tourists annually. Therefore, we studied specific taxa/faunal groups susceptible to roadkills, how tourism impacts roadkills, and to provide recommendations to minimize wildlife roadkills in Sri Lanka.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There are 30 species of Chiropterans inhabiting the tropical Indian Oceanic Island of Sri Lanka, many of which are nationally threatened. These 30 species consist of four Megachiropterans and 26 Microchiropterans. Interestingly, despites geographical isolation, Sri Lanka does not possess any endemic Chiropterans. There is a paucity of long-term stu...