Wild-Life in Sri Lanka
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Wildlife of Sri Lanka includes its flora and fauna and their natural habitats. Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of biological endemism (16% of the fauna and 23% of flowering plants are endemic) in the world.
Wilpattu National Park
Experience Sri Lanka’s most elusive wildlife in the vast seclusion of Wilpattu National Park. Occupying a vast swathe of land bordering the copper-sand beaches of the north west coast, the ancient ruins of the Cultural Triangle and the Northern Province, this is Sri Lanka’s largest and oldest game reserve. Home to myriad endemic species, the park fosters sensational bird life, Asian Elephants, Sri Lankan Leopards, Sri Lankan Sloth Bears.
Minneriya National Park
This national park is one of the best places in the country to see wild elephants, which are often present in huge numbers. Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Wewa, the park has plenty of scrub, forest and wetlands in its 88.9 sq km to also provide shelter for toque macaques, sambar deer, buffalo, crocodiles and leopards (the latter are very rarely seen, however).
Hurulu Eco Park (Habarana)
Hurulu Eco Park (Hurulu Forest Reserve): This is the Hurulu Eco Park, part of the Hurulu Forest Reserve which comes under the purview of the Forest Department. Getting the information from a resident at Habarana, we found our way on the Habarana-Trincomalee Road. Coming from Habarana past the railway crossing after 100 metres you can see the Hurulu Eco Park board on your left, between the 116th and 117th km post. Hurulu Forest Reserve which is situated on the Habarana Trincomalee road, in between the 116th and 117thkm post to the left side, The distance from Habarana Junction to Hurulu Eco Park is around 6km. This Park was declared as a biosphere reserve in January 1977.
Mundel wetland sanctuary is located approximately 60 KM from Negombo, on the Colombo Puttalam highway. It is a haven for bird watchers both resident and migratory. Mundel is also the nesting site for many exotic birds; including some of the rarer species of cormorants, egrets, storks and ibis, along with the pheasant tailed-jacana and the purple swamp hen. If you are able to enter the sanctuary by 6.00 AM you will get to see over 150 species of birds leaving their nests for the day. A unique excursion created especially for bird lovers. Probably the best day excursion to experience nature.
Yala National Park
Yala, situated in the south east corner of the island, is home to the greatest variety of Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Its varying habitats, consisting of scrub plains, jungles, rocky outcrops, fresh water lakes, rivers and beaches, provides home to many species of animals including sloth bear, herds of elephants, buffalo, monkeys, sambar, deer, crocodiles and the endangered leopard subspecies, Panthera Pardus Kotiya, which is only found in Sri Lanka.
Udawalawe National Park
With herds of elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards, Uda Walawe National Park is the Sri Lankan national park that best rivals the savannah reserves of Africa. In fact, for elephant-watching, Uda Walawe often surpasses many of the most famous East African national parks. The park, which centres on the 308.2-sq-km Uda Walawe Reservoir, is lightly vegetated but it has a stark beauty and the lack of dense vegetation makes game-watching easy. It’s certainly the one national park in Sri Lanka not to miss.
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