Save Fishing Cat Conservation Project

Ashan started the Save fishing Cat Conservation Project (SFCCP) in 2013 while studying for his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He is also working as a local partner for the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation (SWCCF) and is a Global Wildlife Conservation Associate Conservation Scientist.

He strongly believes in community-based conservation and that threat reducation 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 to Fishing cat survival. As a primary solution for roadkill challenges in the central hills, he established road signs and information boards in crucial roadkill areas and also works with government authorities to expand these signs around the country. Additionally, he is working on building enclosures for rescued small wild cats that can’t be returned to the wild and plans to establish rehabilitation centers which will tend to these cat species further. Moreover, he has organized many workshops and awareness programs for school children in his study areas, and also started the annual Fishing Cat Youth Camp Training Programs in 2014.

To date he has received support from many international organisations 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 community based conservation activities. In 2015 he was awarded the Sidney Byers Scholarship from Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) to support his Master’s Degree. He has presented his work in many conferences and symposiums around the world and was able to share a talk with Dr. Jim Sanderson at the WCN Expo 2015 in San Francisco, USA. In January 2017 he joined 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.

Project initiated: 2013
Current status: Ongoing
Founder / Primary Investigator: Ashan Thudugala