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Golden Jackal population in SL on the decline

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Ongoing research have revealed of a significant decrease in golden jackal population in Sri Lanka over the past two- decades.

Uthpala Jayaweera, a researcher in Carnivore Ecology, revealed  that the study, overseen by Professor Sampath Seneviratne, a Zoology expert at the University of Colombo, and conducted in collaboration with Chandika Jayaratne, aimed to assess the present distribution and conservation situation of the Sri Lankan jackal species.

The research revealed that habitat degradation followed by erosion of food webs were the leading causes of the decline in jackal numbers. The study also highlighted that expanding road networks posed a major threat to the decreasing population of Jackals in the island.

Further the use of pesticides, road accidents as well as diseases such as canine distemper and rabies spread through unvaccinated dogs had contributed to the declining jackal numbers.

Ms Jayaweera pointed out that the Sri Lankan golden Jackal Canis aureus naria was one of the 13 sub-species of Golden jackal to be found in southern parts of India and Sri Lanka.

“Golden Jackals are more prominently found in the dry zone compared to the wet zone and their very rare in areas of high elevation. More numbers of Jackals are found inside the national park network in Sri Lanka such as Yala, Udawalawa, Wilpattu ,Kumana and Wasgamuwa National Parks,” she said.

Adding that the research team had carried out the first vocalization related study on Jackals.

The study which commenced last year revealed that the Golden Jackals are the most vocal carnivore in Sri Lanka.
With the species being synonymous for five vocal types such as bark, whine, and whimper, howl and group howl. It is said that Jackals use group howls for long distance communication.

Professor in Zoology at the University of Colombo, Sampath Seneviratne, said that Jackals are one of the top predators which contribute to keeping the balance of the ecosystem.

He elaborated that the carnivores such as jackals remove weak animals and reduce animals from contracting diseases and keep the ecosystem healthy.

Prof Seneviratne added that the Sri Lankan golden Jackal is one of the most vocal mammals in Sri Lanka and has many types of calls including deep howl which they use to communicate among a pack of two or a large pack of 13 to 15 jackals.

(sundaytimes.lk)

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Dr. Shelton Premarathne passes away

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Legendary Sri Lankan music composer Dr. Shelton Premarathne has passed away today (May 30) at the age of 94.

He had been living with his son in Sydney, Australia, at the time of his demise.

Dr Premaratne has contributed to Sinhala cinema, theatre and classical Sri Lankan music. 

He was the music composer and director in over 30 stage productions, including Henry Jayasena’s popular theatre production Hunuwataye Kathawa (The Caucasian Chalk Circle), and 21 Sinhala films including films such as Daskon, Romeo Juliet Kathawak and Hithaka Pipunu Mal.

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Indian-owned ship held in Colombo after oil spill; travel ban imposed on captain

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The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has taken custody of a ship which had caused an oil spill while anchored at the Colombo Port.

A spokesperson of the MEPA stated that legal action has been initiated against the company that owns the ship and the relevant insurance company regarding the oil spill. Under the Marine Environment Protection Authority Act, the MEPA is seeking compensation for the incident, the authority revealed.

The ship, owned by an Indian company, had recently arrived at the Port of Colombo for maintenance activities. A special investigation conducted by MEPA had revealed a leak of hydraulic oil from the ship. The company’s owner has admitted to the incident and agreed to provide compensation, according to the MEPA.

Furthermore, the Colombo Magistrate Court has imposed a travel ban on the captain of the ship preventing him from leaving the country, as per a request made by the Colombo Port Police.

(This story, originally published by adaderana.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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5 companies fined Rs. 1,243 Mn. for illegal gold imports

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State Finance Minister Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that five companies have been identified for illegally importing gold into Sri Lanka during the past few years, and fines of Rs.1,243 million have been imposed on those companies.

The Minister said that one of the related companies was ordered to pay Rs.179 million as fines.

Emphasising that from now on, all licensed institutions carrying out import of gold goods should avoid these illegal acts, the Minister said that the relevant institutions will also be charged fines for the gold purchased by even third parties considering the production reports.

He said the efforts to stabilise the state revenue of the country are currently being carried out by closing all the loopholes related to the loss of state revenue gradually.

Certain parties who import gold goods have turned this into a big racket and therefore there is a mafia around it.There were various challenges and threats when the government tried to curb this mafia initially.

The Minister further said that there were various levels of threats, pressure and intimidation, and the government did not waver in the face of all these challenges and moved to the second step.

(dailynews.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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