Project start date and status:
Ashan started the Save fishing Cat Conservation Project (SFCCP) in 2013 while studying for his bachelor degree in University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. At present he reads for his Masters Degree on “Population Monitoring Of Fishing Cats In Protected Landscapes“. Currently he is working as a local partner for the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation (SWCCF), is a Global Wildlife Conservation Associate Conservation Scientist, and is a member of the Fishing Cat Working Group.
He strongly believes in community based conservation and that threat reeducation can save small wild cats species from local extinction. Ashan works with the local communities in central and northern central Sri Lanka while monitoring the human –wild cat conflict and threats for fishing cats. As a primary solution for the road kill problems in central hills, he established road signs and information boards in crucial road kill areas and also works with government authorities to expand these signs around the country. Additionally he is working on building enclosures for permanently damaged small wild cats and plans to develop them in to rehabilitation centers which will tend to these cat species. Moreover he has organized many workshops and awareness programs targeting school children’s in his study areas, and also started the annual Fishing Cat Youth Camp Training Programs in 2014.
To date he has got support from many international organizations like The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, The Aspinall Foundation, Big Cat Rescue, Houston Zoo and Wild Oasis to continue his conservation practices and empower the community based conservation activities. In 2015 he was awarded the Sidney Byers Scholarship from Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) to support his Master Degree. He has presented his work in many conferences and symposiums around the world and he was able to share a talk with Dr Jim Sanderson in WCN Expo 2015 in San Francisco, USA.
In January 2017 he joined with his fellow small cat conservationist Anya Ratnayaka and started the non-profit Small Cat Advocacy and Research (SCAR) in Sri Lanka to strength the conservation and research practices of small wild cats in the country.