Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka

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Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka
Abbreviation FOGSL
Formation 1976
Type Non-profit organization
Purpose Conservation of birds and Education
Headquarters Department of Zoology, University of Colombo
Location
Membership 600
President Dr Dewaka Weerakoon[citation needed]
Affiliations BirdLife International
Staff 4
Website http://www.fogsl.net/

Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, commonly abbreviated FOGSL, is the Sri Lankan affiliate of BirdLife International. It was founded in 1976 to promote the conservation of birds and preservation of the environment. The group is based in the department of zoology of the University of Colombo and Dr Dewaka Weerakoon is its current president.[citation needed][1][2]

Activities and events[edit]

Identifying and proposing Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka is one of the main activities of the group.[2] This project has now entered its second phase, conducting studies to evaluate the biodiversity of proposed 70 IBAs.[2] Conducting research on some selected endemic birds, the Sri Lanka Blue Magpie and Spot-winged Thrush, is another activity of the group. Following the events of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, FOGSL provided some direct humanitarian assistance.[3] The group helped in wetland restoration, rebuilding schools, and coastal land-use planning. National bird ringing programmes conducted in Bundala National Park concentrate on studies on migratory birds and the wetlands.[4] The Field Ornithology Group intends to extend the research to other sites on the migration route and to develop a web database.

From 2008, Field Ornithology Group conducts a bird count in December in the lines of Christmas Bird Count by the National Audubon Society of the United States.[5] Sri Lanka's location at the tip of the Indian subcontinent has made the island a termination point in the North-South bird migratory route.[6] Organizing a bird education exhibition to promote awareness among general public is one of the annual programmes of the group. This commemorates the late P. B. Karunathna, who was a leading naturalist in the country and one of the founding members of the society.

Activities for youth[edit]

The FOGSL also organise activities for children. They have launched an "FOG Kids" programme, focusing on environmental education and field trips for children aged over 14.[2] Another programme, called "Preserving Heritage for Tomorrow", was carried out in collaboration with Sri Lanka Telecom in 2007 to raise awareness on the conservation of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve.[7] 180 students and 45 teachers from various schools participated in the programme.[8]

Publications[edit]

The small grants programme of the United Nations Development Programme granted the Field Ornithology Group US$20,308.00 for printing of selected publications and other activities.[9] As part of their educational programmes, Field Ornithology Group has published many books and posters, not only on birds, but also mammals and wetlands.[10] The FOGSL also publish two periodicals, Kedetta in Sinhala and Malkoha in English.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dole, Nilma (15 March 2009). "Not a 'bird-brained' plan!". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Sri Lanka". birdlife.org. BirdLife International. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Update on BirdLife's response following the Indian Ocean Tsunami". birdlife.org. BirdLife International. June 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  4. ^ "National bird ringing programme". ibasrilanka.net. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  5. ^ Wijesena, Uditha (30 November 2008). "Count not to kill, but to preserve". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Spreading the wings of protection on birds". The Nation. 2008-12-14. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  7. ^ "Awareness programme on Sinharaja conservation". Sunday Observer. 15 July 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  8. ^ "SLT - FOGSL Sinharaja project continues". Daily News. 4 September 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  9. ^ "Developing a sustainability program through publications and field monitoring centre by Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka". sgp.undp.org. Small grants programme of United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  10. ^ Kotagama, Sarath (2006). Common, Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka (1st ed.). Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. ISBN 955-8576-19-0.