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Seacology supporters raise thousands for rare Sri Lankan leopard

May 16, 2024

With the support of our dedicated community of donors, Seacology’s new project in Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands is fully funded! Thanks in large part to the contributions of several members of our board and a generous match offered by the Nu Skin Force For Good Foundation, we exceeded our $24,000 fundraising goal in just two weeks.

There is an urgent need to protect the habitat of the last remaining Sri Lankan leopards. With fewer than 1,000 adults in the wild, these big cats face several threats, primarily habitat loss. As the area’s major industry—plantations growing Sri Lanka’s famous tea—expanded, the surrounding forest became fragmented and degraded, giving wildlife less space to roam. The pandemic and Sri Lanka’s subsequent economic collapse further strained the local environment as impoverished  people turned to poaching, illegal logging, and other destructive practices to make ends meet. Some plantation workers set snares in the forest to protect their crops from grazing animals, but these traps indiscriminately injure and kill leopards as well.

Our local partner organization, the Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT), works with communities throughout the mountainous area to protect the dense forest that the leopards need to survive. Through habitat restoration, education, and fighting poaching and trapping, they aim to develop a more sustainable relationship between the tea growers and the surrounding ecosystem.

Crucially, our partnership with WWCT enlists the Central Highlands’ farming communities, the people closest to the forest, in environmental protection. Our project funds 15 new classrooms for training local children and teenagers in environmental stewardship and restoration, as part of WWCT’s Forest Guardians program. This knowledge will help them monitor the forest and advocate for its protection. The Forest Guardians will also support WWCT’s ongoing work to create wildlife corridors—stretches of new trees that connect forest fragments and give animals a way to move between them.


Kids participating in the Forest Guardians program receive new books in a classroom funded by the project.

WWCT has been growing trees to support reforestation in the area.

The new funding is already making a difference. WWCT has furnished two of the classrooms and has procured books and other educational materials. Each classroom will feature a large Forest Guardians poster featuring the names of the participating students, fostering pride in their role in protecting their country’s natural heritage.

“Seacology’s vision and trust in our work has allowed us to dedicate resources towards gearing the next generation of youth to make a difference within their surroundings,” said Anjali Watson, managing trustee of WWCT. “We are now able to widen our scope and include the community within the solution for landscape conservation. Thank you for enabling this.”