Anya Ratnayaka


Anya Ratnayaka is a graduate in Wildlife and Conservation Management from the University of Queensland, Australia. A Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) Scholar for 2017, she has a strong interest in Sri Lankan wildlife and in particular small wild cat conservation. She is the co-founder of the NGO Small Cat Advocacy & Research, and is currently conducting research on Fishing Cats found in Colombo’s urban wetland habitats.

A chance encounter with an orphaned Fishing Cat in 2012 made Anya pivot from studying the Sri Lankan Leopard, and focus solely on this elusive, amphibious feline. She started the Urban Fishing Cat Project in 2013, and her research focuses on studying how the species is adapting to the the rapid clearing of their urban wetland habitat, while raising the species profile among stakeholders and the public. Her project was the first in the world to use GPS collars to track these animals.

A member of the Fishing Cat Working Group, Anya is currently working closely with the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation and the Department of Wildlife Conservation to uncover the secret life of this endangered species, and understand how we can better protect it.

Education

  • BSc. Wildlife and Conservation Management, University of Queensland, Australia.

Publications

Ratnayaka, A. (2017). A Dance With Dragons. Loris, Volume 27(5&6), p. 20-21.

Ratnayaka, A. (2016). Small Cats as urban conservation Flagships: the ecology and behaviour or fishing cats in Sri Lanka’s cities. In: Proceedings of the Rufford in-country conference Sri Lanka. Bio Conservation Society (BCSL), pp. 27.

Ratnayaka, A. (2016). The sound of silence: Lotek WildCell SLG collars. Small Wild Cat Conservation News, Volume 1(2), p. 21.

Ratnayaka, A. (2016). The industrious cat. Small Wild Cat Conservation News, Volume 1(2), p. 12-13.

Mukherjee, S., Appel, A., Duckworth, J.W., Sanderson, J., Dahal, S., Willcox, D.H.A., Herranz Muñoz, V., Malla, G., Ratnayaka, A., Kantimahanti, M., Thudugala, A. & Thaung R. and Rahman, H. (2016). Prionailurus viverrinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T18150A50662615.

Ratnayaka, A. (2015). Radio-collaring Fishing Cats in urban wetlands. In: Proceedings of the First International Fishing Cat Conservation Symposium. Fishing Cat Working Group, pp. 34-36.