Kaludiyapokuna Primate Conservation and Research Center
Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, and southeast of the Arabian Sea; it is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka is nicknamed Pearl of the Indian Ocean and teardrop of India. Switch incredible natural beauty, extraordinary biodiversity and precious gemstones. The island is home to Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim people and contains a range of unique endemic species and subspecies such as the Sri Lankan elephant, Sri Lankan leopard, and Sri Lanka’s national bird, the Sri Lankan jungle fowl. This island is a unique ecosystem where humans show a remarkable tolerance for the presence of wildlife, however several conflicts between humans and animals have been reported, and tree loss across the island due to economic development may impact many species negatively.
In Sri Lanka, two Colobines have responded to habitat loss in dramatically different ways: while the tufted gray langur (Semnopithecus priam thersites) has remained relatively ubiquitous, ranging successfully across fragmented and urban landscapes, the purple-faced langur (Semnopithecus vetulus) is largely isolated to remaining forests. These differences are unsurprisingly reflected in the two species’ respective conservation statuses: the tufted gray langur is classified as Near Threatened, while the Critically Endangered purple-faced langur is consistently categorized as one of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world. The northern purple-faced subspecies, S. vetulus philbricki, is found in the north central dry mixed evergreen forests experiencing high levels of anthropogenic influence that hinder their long-term survival.