Milinda Wattegedara

Milinda has a master’s degree in business administration from Cardiff Metropolitan University, but his love of animals has made him a renowned wildlife researcher, environmentalist, and photographer. Milinda became fascinated by the leopard and the tusker, two species of significance in Sri Lanka, and this sparked his desire to learn more about these amazing animals and their secretive behavior. Milinda deliberately concentrates his wildlife explorations in localities like Yala and Kumana National Parks where leopard sightings are most common. In order to investigate tuskers, he expands his exploration to every part of the island. His primary goals are amassing useful data and taking breathtaking pictures for behavioral research and species identification.

Milinda founded the Yala Leopard Diary and Wild Tuskers of Sri Lanka after realizing the value of cooperation and information exchange. These internet forums encourage the sharing of current, accurate, and beautiful wildlife photographs among like-minded people. Milinda was the project manager for the program to identify leopards in Yala Block One and tuskers on the entire island in 2015. Through these endeavors, approximately 200 individual leopards in the Yala and Kumana National Parks, as well as 250 tuskers across the island, have been documented.
Milinda’s contributions as the creator of Yala Leopard Diary go beyond species identification and include revolutionary observations of distinctive leopard behavior in Yala National Park that is rarely seen elsewhere. A significant accomplishment was his participation in the Leopard Research Team, which developed the Multipoint Leopard Identification technique. The overestimation of leopard populations in Sri Lanka is eliminated because to this ground-breaking identification method, which guarantees precise leopard identification.

The Yala Leopard Centre has developed an Automatic Leopard Identification method using artificial intelligence (AI), which is freely available to everyone via the Leopard Centre’s website (yalaleoparddiary.com).

The following accolades and honors have been given to Milinda’s wildlife photography:
– Winner 2017, Sanctuary Asia Call of the Wildlife Photography Awards
– Special Mention in 2016, Sanctuary Asia Call of the Wildlife Photography Awards
– Best of the Show 2016 and Best Wildlife Picture 2016, Photographic Society of Sri Lanka’s.

Milinda consistently pushes the limits, participates in worthwhile projects, and shares expertise to support long-term conservation efforts and protect Sri Lanka’s natural treasures for future generations.