Program Officer, Wildlife Conservation
Nilanga’s primary focus is on Asian species conservation, particularly elephants, rhinos and tigers. She is part of WWF’s core team working on wildlife conservation. She brings a unique perspective gained from conservation experience on three continents working on both terrestrial and marine issues.
Along with her work for WWF, Nilanga also serves as a volunteer for Ewaso Lions, a lion conservation organization in northern Kenya that addresses human-carnivore conflict through research and community engagement. She has worked on okapi conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the prestigious Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program.
Nilanga started her professional career as a journalist, but found her true calling in biodiversity conservation. Originally from Sri Lanka, Nilanga now lives in the US and is thrilled that her work helps to save the world’s wild elephants, especially in her home region.
“It took a budding career in environmental journalism for me to realize that it wasn’t enough just to report on stories of imperiled wildlife. I needed to have a hands-on role in conserving imperiled wildlife. That dream is my reality today.”
More on Nilanga
- Masters in Journalism, University of California, Berkeley
- Bachelor of Arts, Whittier College, California
Areas of Expertise
- Human-wildlife conflict prevention and mitigation
- Asian elephant conservation
- Asian species
- Protected area management
- Community-based conservation
- Monitoring and evaluation
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