"Living with Crocodilians"
World Crocodile Conference - Sri Lanka
22nd Working Meeting of the IUCN - SSC Crocodile Specialist Group
20-23 May 2013
GOLDI SANDS HOTEL
NEGOMBO, SRI LANKA
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22nd Working Meeting - Crocodile Specialists Group
The IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) is a worldwide network of biologists, wildlife managers, government officials, independent researchers, NGO representatives, farmers, traders, tanners, fashion leaders, and private companies actively involved in the conservation of the world's 23 living species of alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharials in the wild. As one of more than 100 species specialist groups operating under the auspices of the Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the CSG works closely with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and other international intergovernmental bodies to promote crocodilian conservation and legal trade that does not threaten the survival of these important reptiles.
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is steeped in heritage. With a history that dates back over 3,000 years, Sri Lanka is home to some of the best preserved Asian monuments and showcases no fewer than eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, all remarkably preserved to surpass more well-known world class attractions. To this day Sri Lanka’s centuries old heritage lives on, in the culture and the way of life of the Sri Lankan people. The rich tapestry of cultural practice, beliefs and the traditional way of life renews and revives this Island nation’s historic ties, creating an oasis of cultural richness in the modern day.

The first Buddhist monarch of the country established one of the world's first wildlife sanctuaries at Mihintale, Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC. Presently there are nearly 75 protected areas under the Department of Wildlife Conservation in the country. It is approximately 13% of the country’s land area.

Sri Lanka though small in size is one of the few places on earth where the world’s largest land and sea mammals can be seen in a day. Home to the inimitable Asian Elephant, Sri Lanka’s southern Ocean waters are the playground to the giants of the sea- the docile Blue Whales. Additionally, Sri Lanka is the home for the  best wild mugger populations in the world, most found in Wildlife parks (Yala etc), and in aquatic habitats in the dry zone plains, whilst the salt water crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is mainly confined to mangroves and rivers in the west and south of the island.  Furthermore, Sri Lanka is a world’s hot spot for amphibians and reptiles. 

Sri Lanka wasn't called Serendib by coincidence. As the Persians scoured the seas in search of Oriental treasures, they happened upon a mystical island in the Indian Ocean. This island, a land of great treasures and surprises was named Serendib. Latterly, in modern day English the term Serendipity denotes the property of making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated. Today, Sri Lanka is no different. It is a land of serendipity, one where as you search for one moment of bliss you discover a thousand more.