Sri Lanka: Civil war left wild birds with lasting fear of humans

Greater than a decade after Sri Lanka’s civil struggle ended, wild birds are nonetheless cautious of people in areas of the nation that noticed armed battle


26 October 2021

A cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) stands near a roadway in Sri Lanka. Birds in the country still fear humans years after the end of a civil war.

A cattle egret stands close to a roadway in Sri Lanka

Michael Weston

Sri Lanka’s civil struggle lasted 26 years, coming to an finish in 2009. However the nation’s birds haven’t forgotten.

“There have been many incidents reported, whereas rising up in Sri Lanka, of landmines inflicting harm or demise to animals in struggle zones,” says Jonathan Gnanapragasam at Deakin College in Burwood, Australia.

He and his colleagues have discovered that in former struggle zones, wild birds are nonetheless cautious of people, whereas birds in areas that didn’t see armed battle throughout the …

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