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Biodiversity

Protecting The Homes We Share With Nature

Spread across the lush landscapes of our tropical island, our many homes of Sri Lankan hospitality are reserved not just for you, but also the vibrant flora and fauna that grace these lands. For generations, our people have harmoniously coexisted with the thriving habitats that surround you today, preserving our biodiversity as one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful island charms. This legacy has become an inherent part of our family values, and will always serve as our natural commitment to conservation efforts with a lasting impact around the world.

Awareness for Guests, Staff, and The Community

As we welcome the world to our homes in regions rich in biodiversity, we ensure that you, our Associates, and the wider community is always well-informed about the importance of the environments that surround us. For instance, an onsite cetacean information center has been established at Jetwing Lighthouse on Sri Lanka’s southern coastline – home to one of the largest resident populations of blue whales in the world. Similarly, a Loris Information Center has been established within our private nature reserve at Jetwing Vil Uyana – which is known to be one of the best sites to spot the elusive slender grey loris in Sri Lanka. Both centers have been designed in close collaboration with experts in their respective fields, and feature a wealth of information that is used to educate a number of stakeholders. Schoolchildren in particular, benefit from our Foster Schools Programme where resident Jetwing naturalists lead lectures and workshops on the importance of biodiversity and the wider environment. We believe in enabling the next generation of society to become key players in the global fight for climate change, equipped with an abundance of first-hand knowledge that will contribute towards the creation of a better planet.

Man-Made Nature Reserve at Jetwing Vil Uyana

Prior to the creation of arguably the most exclusive sanctuary on Earth, Jetwing Vil Uyana was made up of abandoned agrarian lands. Over the course of four years, the slash and burn (chena) cultivation area was transformed into a private, man-made nature reserve that is dominated by a thriving wetland habitat alongside other lands used to grow paddy through traditional methods. The success of this transformation is also reflected in the birth of its thriving natural habitats. The reserve has only been reforested with trees that are native to the resident dry zone of Sri Lanka, and other than the introduction of native fish species to our local water bodies, all other flora and fauna present at Jetwing Vil Uyana have become natural residents that share our home. So much so that frequent surveys carried out on the property have consistently shown increases in wildlife population.

Environmental Integration at Jetwing Kaduruketha

Designed to resemble a traditional Sri Lankan village, Jetwing Kaduruketha was built to immerse you in the verdant landscapes of rural Wellawaya. Occupying only 10 out of 60 acres that make up our resident expanse, the hotel premises feature an architectural design that seamlessly integrates with the surrounding natural environment. The undisturbed habitat has been inspired by home gardens, yet remains a shining example of our commitment to conserving Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity – hosting over 100 native tree species that have been diligently marked to improve your awareness of our local vegetation. Naturally, an abundance of wildlife has also been spotted throughout the premises of Jetwing Kaduruketha, including the flying squirrel, fishing cat, as well as over 120 species of birds.

Conservation and Habitat Protection

Our loris information center has been established within a dedicated loris conservation site at Jetwing Vil Uyana. Slender grey loris were first spotted at Jetwing Vil Uyana a few years after the hotel was opened, where it was discovered that the species were habituating within a certain section of the property. As a result, any development or industrial activity was foregone within this area, demarcating the site as a safe refuge for these resident nocturnal creatures. Our conservation efforts extend to our hospitality, where you are also able to sight the elusive loris in its natural habitat through specially conducted tours led by our resident naturalist.

We have also attempted to create a distribution map across Sri Lanka for small cat species such as the fishing cat, jungle cat and rusty-spotted cat as part of our Project C.L.A.W.S initiative. Aptly named as a project for Conserving Living Areas for Wild-cat Species, our widespread network of Jetwing naturalists conduct frequent research at properties with known populations of these species as part of our wider conservation efforts.

In the highlands of Sri Lanka, we have established a model wetland within the premises of Jetwing St. Andrew’s. Unique to the upcountry climes of our tropical island, the wetland features several endemic and critically endangered amphibians – serving as a demonstration that even smaller sites, when managed well, can serve as important biodiversity sanctuaries.

Past Projects

Over the years, we have been actively involved in a number of collaborations and research activities dedicated to conserving habitats and raising awareness of Sri Lanka’s colourful biodiversity. Such projects include:

• Jetwing Research Initiative (2011): Five Jetwing naturalists from different properties across Sri Lanka shared their research at an exhibition on the fringes of the Galle Literary Festival. The research focused on various features of our biodiversity including the loris, whales, leopards, trout trailing and the history of Negombo.
• Project BLUEprint (2012): A collaboration between WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation), SriLankan Airlines, John Keells Group, Jetwing Hotels and various eco-tourism companies to promote sustainable whale watching tourism and vessel handling in Sri Lankan waters.
• Yala Folklore Project (2003-2004): A study into the ancient folklore of the Ruhuna region, focusing on the religious, economic, and cultural prosperity of King Kavantissa’s reign, as well as the ecology and traditions of the surrounding areas.
• Leopard Research (2001-2002): The first detailed research study on the Sri Lankan leopard, focusing on population size, home range, feeding ecology, and behavior.
• Primate Research: Supporting foreign university researchers on their studies of local primates such as the western purple-faced leaf monkey, which is one of the most endangered primate species in the world.