Saving the Next Generation: Restoration of lower montane forests at Knuckles Forest Reserve (First Census)

First census of the seedling transplants was conducted by the Botanical Society of the University of Peradeniya on 28th April 2018. Twelve members of the Society measured 1200 seedlings transplanted into degraded grasslands at Knuckles Forest Reserve.
Ninety three percent survival of plants were recorded after 4 months of transplantation. This program is a united effort of the University of Peradeniya, Noritake Lanka Porcelain (Pvt) Ltd., Forest Department and the local villagers to restore lower montane forests at Knuckles Conservation Area.

RECOMMENDATIONS

• Clearance of grass and invasive species, leaving only the desired species in the land
• Clear unwanted species at edges of forests and tree islands
• Clear weeds around transplants and already established species to 0.5 m radius
• Tag all seedlings/saplings and measure height/dbh
• Start a data base for monitoring purposes

FAUNAL SURVEY

The loss and fragmentation of habitats is one of the major threats for the survival, diversity and abundance of many vertebrate and invertebrate fauna in at Knuckles Forest Reserve. The effective restoration plans can overcome such adverse effect and reinstate the lost biodiversity.
Our program connects forest fragments and enhances the habitats for species, in turn conserve threatened species in the area.

We (Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya) continuously monitor the successional changes in vertebrates and invertebrate communities in the restored site.

The 1st Faunal survey after transplantation was conducted on 7th May 2018.Hourly observation were done and all invertebrates (Eg: butterflies, bees, dragonflies, crickets, grasshoppers, spiders and snails) and vertebrates (birds and herpetofauna) inhabiting the area were listed. Soil samples were analysed to determine the abundance, diversity and distribution of soil organisms in the site.