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Dec 13, 2007

Schools Awareness Programme

Schools awareness programme with the Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation from Blackpool Zoo Park

Work in Sri Lanka with children teaching them about the elephants in Sri Lanka

The island of Sri Lanka is situated to the southeast of India. Covering 65,000 Km2, it is one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots, making its conservation a matter of global importance. The ecosystem diversity includes forests, grasslands, inland wetlands, and coastal and marine ecosystems. The varied climate and topography has given rise to a rich species diversity, arguably the highest per unit of land area in Asia, with the host of habitats facilitating high levels of genetic diversity within the identified flora and fauna.

Much of the wildlife is endemic due to the island’s split from mainland India in the late Mesozoic. Agriculture makes up a large part of the human land use. With 4-5,000 of the estimated global population of 35-40,000 Asian elephants living on Sri Lanka, it has become ever more important to ensure the survival of the remaining wild population. Habitat loss due to an increase in human habitation and agricultural expansion has forced a difficult situation between the Sinalese people and elephants.

The Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust (BECT) provides a schools’ awareness program and information on the global importance of the country’s wildlife to children who live daily with the problems of human-elephant conflict. This program has run for the last six years, visiting at least 150 schools annually, teaching an average of 65 - 70 children per session, and educating over 63,000 children to date. Evaluation shows that the program increases the level of knowledge regarding elephants, Sri Lankan wildlife and their conservation. 

Developed by:  Blackpool Zoo Park

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