Wednesday, 24 June 2015 - 14:55
CIC continues to fund ground-breaking sloth bear research project



As part of its commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen, CIC Holdings PLC continued to extend its support to the Sri Lankan sloth bear research project. The project is an ongoing collaboration which is funded by CIC and conducted by the Sri Lanka Business & Biodiversity (B&B) Platform of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Biodiversity Education and Research (BEAR). All scientific research is conducted under the supervision of the Department of Wildlife and Conservation, with technical support and guidance being provided by Prof. Devaka Weerakoon from the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo.

The Sri Lankan sloth bear (Melursus ursinus inornatus) is one of the island’s most endangered species and due to an immense lack of research, it has been difficult to create an effective recovery plan to ensure the conservation of the species. Phase one of the research project, explored Wilpattu National Park and zoomed in on the Mardanmaduwa area which is home to approximately 26 bears. Through camera-trap footage and tracking techniques, a total of 11 individual bears were clearly identified, of which six were males, two were female and three were cubs. The study also revealed some interesting facts about the sloth bear’s preferred habitats and diet, and also challenged many assumptions about the species. The second phase of the project is a result of the successful completion of the first, and has been designed to focus specifically on the habitat and behaviour of the sloth bear, as well as the individual preferences  with regard to niche and preferred habitats.

Commenting on CIC’s support for this initiative, Samantha Ranatunga, Managing Director/CEO of CIC Holdings PLC stated, “At CIC, we are dedicated to supporting a sustainable approach to conservation initiatives that are a national priority. Sri Lanka is a country with limited resources and we as a responsible corporate citizen support the work of the Sri Lanka Business and Biodiversity Platform  to ensure the conservation of the sloth bear, one of the island’s most endangered and misunderstood mammals.  Without proper research, effective conservation plans cannot be put in place to ensure the protection of this species, which has already suffered greatly as a result of the war and habitat loss. Phase two of the study will provide valuable insight into the sloth bear’s behaviour and preferences and will enable us to ensure the continued preservation of the species.”

As a leading blue chip conglomerate in Sri Lanka, CIC focuses on nurturing life and its operations extend into the areas of agriculture, animal feed, nutrition, healthcare, industrial materials and consumer products.

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