New Report: Sri Lanka

Here’s a short report from Jilly Hancock who was in Sri Lanka recently and had a great time.


I travelled to Sri Lanka at the end of March a trip organised by Jonathan at Reef & Rainforest Tours and the Bird and Wildlife team in Colombo, with the brilliant guide Dulan Ranga.

I am primarily a feline addict, looking for the fishing cat, jungle cat and rusty spotted cat, but am interested in all wildlife.

We were very fortunate in our sightings. In Willpatu we had 2 wonderful  15- 20 min close sightings of leopard – all to ourselves, which is the way I prefer to see animals and just watch. I was introduced into the world of bats seeing a dozen different species.

As my targets were nocturnal we were out night and day – not much sleep, but it was well worth it.
We saw grey slender loris in Sigiriya and red slender loris at Kitugala, Civets including the golden and brown and all the squirrels, mongoose and monkey  species as well as yellow and white striped chevrotain. also multiple sightings of sambar, chital, muntjac, both types of buffalo and of course the Asian elephant plus birds galore.

When it came to my cats, yes, we had some wonderful sights. Several of the very nervous fishing cat, including one sitting over a small isolated pool of fish trapped by the drying water bed. A rusty spotted cat we followed  on foot for some time over the fields in the dark.  also a number of jungle cats and possibly F1 hybrids.

An absolutely magical trip especially as it was in the early days of the island problems, it progressed without a hitch.  There is so much to see in Sri Lanka and its hospitable people.  It was well planned and very efficient.

Jilly Hancock

Family Scientific Name English Name
1 Emballonuridae Taphozous longimanus Long-armed sheath-tailed Bat
2 Emballonuridae Taphozous melanopogon Black-bearded sheath-tailed Bat
3 Hipposideridae Hipposideros ater Bicolored leaf-nosed Bat
4 Hipposideridae Hipposideros galeritus Dekhan leaf-nosed Bat
5 Hipposideridae Hipposideros lankadiva Great leaf-nosed Bat
6 Hipposideridae Hipposideros speoris Schneider’s leaf-nosed Bat
7 Megadermatidae Megaderma spasma Long-eared vampire Bat
8 Rhinolophidae Rhinolophus beddomei Great horse-shoe Bat
9 Rhinolophidae Rhinolophus rouxii Rufous horse-shoe Bat
10 Vespertillionidae Myotis hasseltii Brown Bat
11 Vespertillionidae Pipistrellus coromandra Indian Pipistrel
12 Vespertillionidae Pipistrellus tenuis Pigmy Pipistrel
13 Cercopithecidae Macaca sinica Sri Lanka Toque Monkey
Macaca sinica sinica (Sub Species) Toque Monkey
Macaca sinica aurifrons (Sub Species) Duskey Toque Monkey
Macaca sinica opisthomelas (Sub Species) Mountain Toque Monkey
14 Cercopithecidae Semnopithecus priam Grey Langur
15 Cercopithecidae Semnopithecus vetulus Purple-faced Leaf Monkey
Semnopithecus vetulus herti (Sub Species) North-western Purple-faced Leaf Monkey
Semnopithecus vetulus philbricki (Sub Species) Nothern Purple-faced Leaf Monkey
Semnopithecus vetulus vetulus (Sub Species) Southern Purple-faced Leaf Monkey
Semnopithecus vetulus nestor (Sub Species) Western Purple-faced Leaf Monkey
Semnopithecus vetulus monticola (Sub Species) Highland Purple-faced Leaf Monkey
16 Lorisidae Loris lydekkerianus Grey Slender Loris
Loris lydekkerianus nordicus (Sub Species) Nothern Grey Slender Loris
17 Lorisidae Loris tardigradus Sri Lanka Red Slender Loris
Loris tardigradus tardigradus (Sub Species) Western Red Slender Loris
18 Canidae Canis aureus golden Jackal
19 Felidae Felis chaus Jungle Cat
20 Felidae Panthera pardus Leopard
21 Felidae Prionailurus rubiginosus Rusty-spotted Cat
Prionailurus rubiginosus koladivius (Sub Species) Dry zone Rusty-spotted Cat
22 Felidae Prionailurus viverrinus Fishing Cat
23 Herpestidae Urva fuscus Brown Mongoose
Urva fuscus flavidens (Sub Species) Highland Brown Mongoose
Urva fuscus rubidior (Sub Species) Western Brown Mongoose
24 Herpestidae Urva edwardsii Grey Mongoose
25 Herpestidae Urva smithii Black-tipped or Ruddy Mongoose
26 Herpestidae Urva vitticollis Stripe-necked or badger Mongoose
27 Ursidae Melursus ursinus Sloth Bear
28 Viverridae Paradoxurus hermaphroditus Palm Civet
29 Viverridae Paradoxurus aureus Golden Wet-zone Palm Civet
30 Viverridae Paradoxurus montanus Sri Lanka Brown Palm Civet
31 Viverridae Viverricula indica Ring-tailed Civet
32 Elephantidae Elephas maximus Elephant
33 Bovidae Bubalus arnee Wild Buffalo
34 Bovidae Bubalus bubalis Domestic Water Buffalo
35 Cervidae Axis axis Spotted Deer
36 Cervidae Rusa unicolor Sambur
37 Cervidae Muntiacus malabaricus Barking Deer
38 Suidae Sus scrofa Wild Boar
39 Tragulidae Moschiola meminna Sri Lanka Mouse-deer
40 Tragulidae Moschiola kathygre Sri Lanka pigmy Mouse-deer
41 Muridae Bandicota bengalensis Mole Rat
42 Muridae Mus mayori Sri Lanka Spiny Rat
43 Muridae Rattus norvegicus Brown Rat
44 Muridae Rattus rattus Common Rat
45 Muridae Srilankamys ohiensis Sri Lanka bicolored Rat
46 Muridae Vandeleuria oleracea Long-tailed tree Mouse
47 Muridae Tatera indica Antelope Rat
48 Peromyidae Petaurista philippensis Giant flying Squirrel
49 Sciuridae Funambulus layardi Sri Lanka flame-striped jungle Squirrel
Funambulus layardi layardi (Sub Species) Flame-striped jungle Squirrel
50 Sciuridae Funambulus palmarum Palm Squirrel
Funambulus palmarum brodiei (Sub Species) Northern Sri Lanka Palm Squirrel
Funambulus palmarum kelaarti (Sub Species) Southern Sri Lanka Palm Squirrel
Funambulus palmarum olympius (Sub Species) Highland Sri Lanka Palm Squirrel
51 Sciuridae Funambulus obscurus Sri Lanka jungle Squirrel
52 Sciuridae Ratufa macroura Giant Squirrel
Ratufa macroura macroura (Sub Species) Highland Giant Squirrel
Ratufa macroura melanochara (Sub Species) Black and Yellow Giant Squirrel
Ratufa macroura dandolena (Sub Species) Common Giant Squirrel
53 Leporidae Lepus nigricollis Black-naped Hare


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