Wild Parks & Wild Life

Wild Parks & Wild Life
 
 
 
 
 
The jungles of Sri Lanka abound in a variety of wildlife,which is surprising for an island of its size in the tropics.From ancient days the elephants and peacock from the Sri Lankan jungles were prize exports to the Kingdoms of East and West.But apart from these well known examples of the fauna, a visit to the Sri Lankan jungles is to enter a whole new world where nature has largely stayed still.There are four majour national parks.Sri Lanka has a rich and exotic variety of wildlife and a long tradition of conservation rooted in its 2,230 year old Buddhist civilisation. The following are the most important sanctuaries in terms of attractions, accessibility and availability of facilities. Animal Sanctuaries The animals to be seen in Sri Lanka’s national parks.
 
  A visit to the Sri Lankan jungles is to enter a whole new world where nature has largely stayed still. Approximately 14% of this small island is dedicated to sanctuaries and nature reserves.The animals to be seen in Sri Lanka’s national parks include elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sandbur, deer and monkeys, wild buffalo, wild boar (pig), porcupine, ant-eater, civet cat, jackal, mongoose, Loris (unique to Sri Lanka) several varieties of lizards, squirrels, reptiles and amphibians. Each park however has its own specialties.
 
 
Yala National Park
 
Yala is the more popular and well-established wild life park in Sri Lanka. It is situated 309 km south of Colombo and approximately 129,700 hectares in extent. This Park consists of thorny scrub forest somewhat similar to the African bush, which provides visitors good visibility. The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle. Yala abounds with elephants besides the other varieties of animals such as sloth bears, leopards, buffaloes, wild boar, deer, samba and large crocodiles too, which are relatively common.

 

Wilpattu National Park 

Situated 176 km. north of Colombo, Wilpattu is approximately 1,908 sq.km. in extent. It has a dense jungle cover which makes it a more exciting park where animals have to be tracked. There are numerous delightful little lakes – known as villus – and the leopard and sloth bear are the specialty rather than elephants

 

Wasgamuwa National Park

Situated approximately 200 km. away from Colombo.The Wasgamuwa National Park lies within the Polonnaruwa and Matale Districts and have the Mahaweli river and Amban river as its eastern and western boundaries.Tropical intermediate dry mixed evergreen forest predominates its environment, which is 37,000 hectares in extent. This Tropical intermediate dry mixed evergreen forest predominates its environment with many varieties of animals like wild elephant, deer, sloth bear, monkey, wild boar and crocodile.

 

Uda Walawe National Park

Uda Walawe National Park is situated 170 Km South East of Colombo.This National Park is approximately 30,821 hectares in extent. This Park comprises grasslands and thorn scrubs and many valuable species of trees are found within it. Elephants and Deer species such as spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking deer and Langur, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo, Jackal are some of the prominent wild animals found in this Park. This park is home for nearly 400 wild elephants.

 

Horton Plains National Park

Situated approximately 200 km. away from Colombo.The only National Park situated in the Hill Country and falls within the Nuwara Eliya district . Panoramic scenic beauty of the Hill Country could be witnessed within the Park. The famous `Worlds End’ is a major attraction within the Park. Endemic slender loris and endemic purple monkey are among the important animal species, sambhur, a member of the cat family , some endemic fauna also found within this Park.In addition there are lot of Sri Lankan Stags there and they are more friendly than other places. In horton plains there is an amazing place, the "World’s End".

 

Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park is 260 km. away from Colombo and 6300 hectares in extent. All species of water birds resident in the country and the migrant birds inhabit this Park. This has five large brackish water lagoons, which make this place to be a home for the migratory birds that flock to these wetlands during the winter months.

 

Lahugala National Park

About 16km (10 miles) west of Pottuvil, Lahugala was designated as a national park mainly to provide a protected corridor for elephant groups moving between the larger reserves of Ruhuna (Yala), to the south, and Gal Oya, to the north. In the dry season this small park is reputed to have more elephants than any other part of the country, attracted by the grazing around the reservoirs within the park

 

Gal Oya National Park

Situated approximately  314km. away from Colombo.Situated at Inginiyagala, the Gal Oya National Park is most renowned for its elephant population.

 

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park approximately 8900 hectares in extent is in the Central North region of the country. This is one of the newest parks in Sri Lanka with a resident wild elephant population of nearly 200. Forest with high canopy provides an ideal habitat conditions for purple-faced leaf monkey and toque monkey. Minneriya is also a paradise for samba and spotted deer. The surrounding wetlands is inhabited by a large number of aquatic bird species and it is not too rare a scene to view 2000 little cormorants diving into the waters of the Minneriya reservoir.

 

The Maduru Oya National Park

The Maduru Oya National Park is located in the Dry Zone and is 300 k.m. away from Colombo and 58,849 hectares in extent. A wide variety of wildlife including some endemic birds species and reptiles are found here. Maduru Oya is rich in ancient ruins found in different places and its southern parts provide veddhas, indigenous people their living environment. Endemic purple monkey is among the important animal species that can be seen in addition to Sambhur, a member of the cat family etc. There is some endemic avifauna also found within this Park 

 

Kumana National Park

 
Located in the southeast corner of Sri Lanka, the 18,149 hectare Kumana National Park (a.k.a. ‘Yala East’) is a well-known bird sanctuary where a multitude of birds breed and roost. One of the most significant features of the park is the ‘Kumana Villu’ – a 200 hectare natural swamp lake, fed by the ‘Kumbukkan Oya’ through a half mile long narrow channel. It is at this mangrove swamp that many water birds nest in May and June. Regular sightings include pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets and little cormorants. The very rare black-necked stork has also been spotted at the swamp.

 

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