18. Want to Avert Extinctions in Sri Lanka?

Empower the Citizenry!

  1. Peter H. Raven2,
  2. Navjot S. Sodhi3 and
  3. Luke Gibson3
  1. Rohan Pethiyagoda

Published Online: 12 JUL 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118679838.ch18

Conservation Biology : Voices from the Tropics

Conservation Biology : Voices from the Tropics

How to Cite

Pethiyagoda, R. (2013) Want to Avert Extinctions in Sri Lanka?, in Conservation Biology : Voices from the Tropics (eds P. H. Raven, N. S. Sodhi and L. Gibson), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118679838.ch18

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Missouri Botanical Garden

  2. 3

    National University of Singapore

Author Information

  1. Ichthyology Section, Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 JUL 2013
  2. Published Print: 16 SEP 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658635

Online ISBN: 9781118679838



  • amphibians;
  • Asian elephant;
  • biodiversity;
  • conservation;
  • extinction;
  • freshwater crabs;
  • freshwater fish;
  • plants;
  • Sri Lanka


With dozens of species already declared extinct and hundreds more threatened with imminent extinction, Sri Lanka's biodiversity is in trouble. This chapter presents a brief review of the conservation status of plants, amphibians, freshwater fish, freshwater crabs, and the Asian elephant in Sri Lanka. Biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka falls within the remits of the Departments of Wildlife Conservation and Forests, which together manage some 30% of the country's land area. The official response to this crisis has been to introduce a draconian regulatory regime that distances the people from their country's biodiversity, seeking to (a) prevent exploitation and (b) assert sovereign ownership of this resource as envisaged by the Convention on Biological Diversity.