Mammals in Colombo wetlands
Purple‐faced leaf monkey
Scientific name – Semnopithecus vetulus
IUCN Conservation Status – Endangered
‘Kalu Wandura’ is a long-tailed arboreal species endemic to Sri Lanka, characterized by a mostly brown appearance, dark face (with paler lower face) with white sideburns and a very shy nature. The species was once highly prevalent, their loud barking calls heard in suburban Colombo and the wet zone villages but rapid urbanization has led to a significant decrease in their population level. Its natural habitat is closed canopy forests in Sri Lanka’s mountains and the southwestern part of the country. They mostly feed on leaves, flowers, seeds, and prefer fruit such as jak, rambutan, banana and mango.
Scientific name – Prionailurus rubiginous
IUCN Conservation Status – Vulnerable
Rusty Spotted Cat is the smallest wild cat in Sri Lanka, measuring up to about 18 inches in the body with a tail of no more than half its body length. It is similar in size to an ordinary domestic cat and called ‘Kola Diviya’ / ‘Balal Diviya’ in Sinhala. The Rusty-spotted Cat is named after its specific markings – The base fur is usually grey in colour and is covered by small rust red coloured spots which form into solid stripes along the back and on the top of the head while the underparts of the body, the chest bib and the chin are white. Its habitats include forest and scrubland. However, it is an elusive nocturnal animal that is rarely seen. It hunts and feeds mainly on insects, small birds, rodents, frogs, small lizards and domestic fowl.