Launch of “A field guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies” Book


A field guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies’ by Amila Sumanpala


Pursuing a hopeful aspiration to coalesce scientific knowledge and deeper reflection on nature, Dilmah Conservation will release its latest publication ‘A field guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies’ by Amila Sumanpala on 30th May at the Dilmah Exceptional Tea Lounge, Water’s Edge.

A field guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies reintroduces us to the vista of these flying insects that remain suspended with an unwavering balance in mid air, flying low and high amongst the green of the gardens.
Oftentimes, the diversity in this species goes unnoticed and unobserved. In that respect, the book is a little effort to bring people closer in a mutual admiration for the multitude of colors and shapes in which these organisms exist.

However, a diminishing pattern in their number has been observed with the surge in urbanisation that is fast spreading into its habitats. This has probably offset the ecological balance in more ways than one as dragonflies and damselflies have a pivotal role in retaining its equilibrium. Their high sensitivity to environmental changes makes them reliable bioindicators, as their increased or decreased presence correlates with the water quality. Apart from this, they feed on both adult mosquito and their larvae, keeping their numbers in check.


The field guide, is another step taken by Dilmah Conservation to enrich the minds of the present generation with a plethora of scientific information, and usher in a better awareness regarding the environment. Filled with brilliant images and rich information, the book is the 12th in the series of Dilmah Conservation’s attempt to create a bridge connecting people to nature, and urge greater conservation through an in-depth understanding and respect for organisms and their habitats.

As the founder of Dilmah, Merrill J. Fernando puts down in the book, “ I hope that with this publication future generations will be enlightened on the importance of this species and the need for their conservation and inspire with it a new generation of enthusiasts who will take on this responsibility and help restore dragonfly populations.”



Dilmah Conservation was initiated in 2007 to incorporate environmental and wildlife conservation efforts into the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation, which primarily focuses on social justice.

The philosophy of ‘Business as a Matter of Human Service’ underpinned by the six pillars of Quality, Tradition, Our Customer, Ethics, Integrity and Sustainability is central to Dilmah’s enterprise. Dilmah Conservation firmly believes in the importance of making a conscious effort to uphold these six pillars to both society and the environment through its work.

Following its inception, Dilmah Conservation has worked towards promoting the sustainable use of the environment in partnership with other organisations including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL), the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) and a number of professional and academic institutions including several local universities. This work has been categorised into four focal areas which are sustainability, biodiversity, heritage and communications.

With the 2010 Declaration of a Core Commitment to Sustainability (below), Dilmah further reaffirmed its commitment to sustainable initiatives with environmental protection at its core. This was followed through by the projects launched by Dilmah Conservation which revolved around the creation of reconciliation programmes by using nature as a catalyst, introduction to sustainable initiatives in the spheres of agriculture and the implementation of programmes on the protection of species habitat and biodiversity through public service announcements and other media.


In line with its objectives to promote greater environmental awareness and accessible nature education, Dilmah Conservation engages in the publication and distribution of a series of books focused on a range of subjects including biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage and organic agricultural practices.


  • To produce a collection of scientific publications on a range of biodiversity-related topics relevant to Sri Lanka.
  • To help create greater awareness on a range of biodiversity topics.

The list of past publications include:
1. ‘An Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka’ equips readers with informative descriptions on identifying common spiders of Sri Lanka while underlying the importance of these often overlooked and irrationally feared species.

2. ‘Common Butterflies of Sri Lanka’ shows the ecological significance of these radiant species and provides an identification guide featuring 100 species of butterflies found in Sri Lanka, along with information on the plants that attract specific butterfly species.

3. ‘Recognizing Deadly Venomous Snakes from Harmless Snakes of Sri Lanka’ provides a different outlook on these misunderstood and again, irrationally feared species, teaching readers of their various adaptations while providing a method of identifying different species and separating harmless species from venomous ones.

4. ‘Fascinating Lichens of Sri Lanka’ gives these neglected species the spotlight they deserve, emphasizing their incredible adaptations and features as well as ecological significance, while providing an identification guide of more than 100 species found in Sri Lanka.

5. ‘A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening’ aims to encourage readers to practice proven organic home gardening methods to not only make their own contributions to safeguarding the environment, but also to govern a healthier lifestyle.

6. ‘A Pictorial Guide to Uda Walawe National Park’ provides both visitors and non-visitors alike with a comprehensive overview of the Uda Walawe National Park of Sri Lanka, its various habitats and ecosystems, and the species that reside within it. Dilmah Conservation conducts several projects involving the revered park, including the construction of an elephant information center, which gives visitors a complete overview of the biology, anatomy, history, cultural significance and conservation of Sri Lankan elephants.

7. ‘Common Forest Trees of Sri Lanka’ is Dilmah Conservation’s latest publication. It provides an ample and detailed look into the forest habitats of Sri Lanka and provides an overview on more than 120 species of trees found in Sri Lanka. The publication mainly seeks to emphasize the crucial role trees play in our survival, the survival of our livelihoods and our economy and the survival of every species with which we share this world.

8. ‘Our Biological Heritage’ is a Sinhala publication aimed at Sri Lankan youth, which provides easy information on the abundantly diverse biological landscapes found within Sri Lanka.

9. ‘Traditional Communities of Sri Lanka: The Ahikuntaka’ gives a detailed overview of this colorful community, including an outline of the contributions made by Dilmah Conservation to empower and improve their livelihoods.

10. ‘Indigenous Communities of Sri Lanka: The Veddahs’, provides an outline of the rich history, culture and society of Sri Lanka’s indigenous peoples with the aim of raising awareness and aiding in cultural preservation.

11. ‘Hela Batha Asiriya (The Great Sri Lankan Agricultural Tradition)’ details the many unique aspects of Sri Lanka’s rich agricultural history, which was practiced more than 2500 years ago. The publication aims to highlight the sustainable and organic agricultural methods practiced in the immediate past and by the ancestors of Sri Lanka.

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