Site hosted by Build your free website today!
      and VOTE for this Site!!!

welcome introduction paradise profile fact file land people history buddhism LINKS
wildlife beaches scenery images anuradhapura sigiriya kandy terrorism update HOME

(N.B. As this is a very large document with graphics and images, it may take sometime to download. However, if you click under 'land' on the menu above, you can view this document in parts thus distributing the download time into sections.)

Some aspects of the Wildlife of Sri Lanka

National Parks and Sanctuaries
Conservation of Wildlife
The Elephant Orphanage

(Some of the extracts below are by courtesy of the websites maintained by the Ceylon Tourist Board and The Sri Lanka Wild Life Conservation Society.)

Though Sri Lanka is very small in land area, the great diversity in habitats harbors are a rich and diverse fauna and flora, with many species endemic to the island. Historically as well as in the modern era, successive rulers and governments of Sri Lanka have strived to provide sanctuary and protection to our beautiful wildlife. Today the demands and aspirations of an expanding human population makes it difficult for the government to be solely responsible for the protection, preservation and management of this beguiled wild heritage of ours. Today, especially where human interest and wildlife interest are in direct conflict. It is imperative that private organizations with resources step into and fill the areas that need immediate attention: environmental education, long term research, and to develop integrated projects for community based conservation.

Leopard. Of the four species of wild cats found in Sri Lanka, the leopard is the largest. No information exists for all the species of cats in regard to their population, distribution and status. There is also small scale poaching of all the species of cats for their skins, teeth and meat.
The sloth bear is the only species of bear found in Sri Lanka, further research is needed to find out more about its ecology, distribution and status. Sloth Bear.
Spotted Deer. Of the five species of deer found in Sri Lanka, the spotted deer and its cousin, the sambar, have the largest distribution. Though there are still large populations of spotted deer in some areas, all five species of deer are relentlessly poached for venison. Studies to ascertain their ecology, distribution and status are urgently needed.
Sri Lanka has more than 400 species of birds consisting of residents, visitors and migrants. Of this 26 species are endemic to the island. Large and small scale clearing of jungles and forests, causes local extinctions of the more specialized species, and threatens the survival of others. It is imperative to establish regional and urban wildlife sanctuaries for their long term survival. Bird.
Fish. The inland waters of Sri Lanka have more than 60 species of fresh water fish of which over 24 species are only found in Sri Lanka. Closer to a 1,000 species of fish are found in the coastal waters surrounding the island. Domestic and industrial affluents and pollutants discharged into rivers and other waterways are a threat to the survival of these fresh water and coastal fishes, and other marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. 
The territorial waters of the Indian Ocean is also home to a rich and varied marine life. Five species of sea turtles and 25 species of whales and dolphins inhabit these coastal waters.

Fifty three species of amphibians are found in Sri Lanka, of which over 25 species are endemic.
The cobra is one of the most well known snakes of the over 90 species of snakes found in Sri Lanka. There are also many species of lizards, two species of crocodiles and monitors, two species of aquatic turtles and one species of tortoise found in the island. Cobra.
Butterfly. Of the diverse and amazing array of  invertebrates found in Sri Lanka, there are over 240 species of butterflies, of which 14 species are endemic.
Sri Lanka also has a wealth of plant life of which a majority are endemic to the island. Many species of colorful and rare orchids, ferns, ayurvedic herbs and plants, large trees, bromeliads and epiphytes creates colorful, exotic and rich habitats for other animal life, and a salubrious environment for humans. 



Click here for a visual bonanza of pictures and images of Sri Lanka

welcome introduction paradise profile fact file land people history buddhism LINKS
wildlife beaches scenery images anuradhapura sigiriya kandy terrorism update HOME


Sri Lanka -  Overview Terrorism Update on Terrorism









Beaches Scenery Wildlife Parks Elephant Elephant Orphanage

      and VOTE for this Site!!!


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.Of these the best known is Ruhunu National Park,at Yala,in the deep South of the island.The other well known national park,at Wilpattu,is at present closed due to the prevailing conditions in the North of the island.There are also two other national parks at Inginiyagala and Udawalawe.

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 include elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambhur, 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 specialities.

Yala (Ruhuna) National Park
{short description of image} {short description of image}

While the elephant is undoubtedly the best known attraction at Yala,Seen in small and large herds,what is the most appealing here is the overall mood of the undisturbed jungle.Large herds of spoted Deer are seen all over the Park,as are many Sambhur,and for those who are sharp eyed to observe,many of the endemoc Muntjac or Barking Deer.Monkeys-the pinkish Rhesus and the grey faced Langur Monkey,live and play on the tree-tops and the ground below. Wild Buffalo and Wild Boar could give you a good surprise and a great picture,while sight of a leopard sunning itself or drinking at a water hole could be a memorable experience,As dusk gathers,there is every chance of seeing the Ceylon Sloth Bear scampering with its young on it back.the progress of your vehicle could be held up by a Python across the track,and near the many waterholes will bee found whole colonies of Crocodiles.

The Peacock is easily the most famous of the birds at Yala.The mating dance of the male,with its colourful plumes fully spread,is a photographer's delight.While the Peacock has its fame,there are also many other species which attract those who are interested in bird life,and add to the mood and feel of nature.The Painted stork,many varities of heron,the poonbill,the bee-eater,many colourful parrots and parakeets,the hornbill,kingfisher and wood-pecker and hoopoe are all birds that can be seen by the observant in the jungles of Sri Lanka. There is accomodation in the national parks of Sri Lanka in special bungalows maintained by the Department of Wild Life Conservation.Dry rations are taken by the visitors and they are made for you by caretakers who are expert at turning quick,tasty meals.Travel inside the parks only by a vhicle.Four- wheel drive is recomended.Entry to the parks is by special

Situated 309 km. south of Colombo, Yala is approximately 1,259 in extent and is located in the south eastern corner of the island. Its northern boundaries border on the Lahugala Elephant Sanctuary and it has the added bonus of a scenic ocean frontage. The terrain is varied flat plains alternating with rocky outcrops. The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle. Water holes, small lakes, lagoons and streams provide water for the animals and birds. The speciality here is the large numbers of elephants.

Wilpattu National Park
{short description of image}

Situated 176 km. north of Colombo, Wilpattu is approximately 1,908 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 speciality rather than elephants.

Gal Oya National Park

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

Uda Walawe National Park
Situated 170 km. South East of Colombo the Uda Walawe National Park is approximately 30,821 hectares in extent. This Park which lies within the Ratnapura and Monaragala Districts acts as the catchment to the Uda Walawe Reservoir and is located in the Dry Zone. This Park comprises grasslands and thorn scrubs and many valuable species of trees are found within it. Large herds of 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 and a variety of avifauna is seen.

Maduru Oya National Park
The Maduru Oya National Park is located in the Dry Zone and is 300 km. 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 are some endemic avifauna also found within this Park.

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.

Horton Plains National Park

The Horton Plains National Park is the only National Park situated in the Hill Country and falls within the Nuwara Eliya district and is 200 km. away from Colombo. 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 that could be seen in addition to sambhur, a member of the cat family etc. There are some endemic avifauna also found within this Park.

Bundala National Park
Bundala National Park is the latest addition to the National Parks and is situated 260 km. away from Colombo. All species of waterbirds resident in the country and the migrant birds inhabit this Park.

Bird Sanctuaries

The sanctuaries at Kumana 312 km. from Colombo, Wirawila 261 km. Bundala 259 km. and Kalametiya 224 km. are all lagoon locations in Sri Lanka's extreme south eastern coast. The Giant's Tank in the north western corner of the island is a huge ancient irrigation reservoir of 3,800 hectares. The coastal sanctuaries are exotically picturesque with combinations of lagoon, swamp, river, jungle, lake and plain. Large flocks can be found here of both resident and migrant aquatic birds. The highland sanctuaries at Udawattakele 118 km. from Colombo and the Peak Wilderness 141 km. are quieter but equally picturesque with wooded hills and secluded streams and have the added bonus of rare flora such as our unique Wesak Orchid as well as numerous species of rare butterflies. The Udawattakele Sanctuary is in the suburbs of Kandy, our picturesque and fascinating hill capital. The Peak Wilderness is situated on the slopes of Adam's Peak (Sri Pada), Sri Lanka's sacred mountain.

National Zoological Gardens

Situated 11 km. from the Fort, the Zoo has a fine collection of animals, birds, reptiles and fish from all over the world. The aquarium is the only one of its kind in Asia and displays over 500 varieties of aquatic life. Also walk in through Aviary, Reptilium, Butterfly Park. There are daily elephant performance at 5.15 p.m. Open daily between 8.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Entrance fees : Rs 90/- per adult and Rs.45/- per child.

Elephant Orphanage

An orphanage for elephants has been set up by the department of National Zoological Gardens, at Pinnawela, 90 km. from Colombo. It was established in 1975 and several animals brought here at the inception are now mature enough for breeding, which is the ultimate aim of the institution. Entrance fees : Rs.75 per adult and Rs.40 per child.

Wild Life and Nature Protection Society

  For all information on nature safaris, hiking and birdwatching and advice on itineraries please contact Headquarters at Chaitiya Road, Marine Drive, Fort, Colombo. Tel. 325248 Telex : 21537 METALIX CE & 22933 Metalix CE Attn WPNS. Fax: 941-580721 Attn. WPNS


Click here for a visual bonanza of pictures and images of Sri Lanka

Some tips and helpful notes for the tourist visiting the wild life parks and sanctuaries in Sri Lanka....

You are not permited to alight from your vehicle within the park,except at specially marked locations.Camping is permitted at special camping sites,with prior permission.You must always be accompanied by a tracker provided by the park authorities.Please refrain from disturbing the peace of the wild with the use of radios,casette and CD players or loud music of your own.And,as in any other place,but more so in the wild,do not leave any litter behind.Park Bungalows Visitors to National Parks could find accomodation in Park Bungalows maintained by the Wil Life Conservation.All bungalows have basic amenities;water on tap, refrigerators, toilet, cutlery, crockery and presure lamps.Services of Bungalow Keeper and Assistant provided.

Reservations:Minimum of five persons (children under 12 years at half rate at US$ 10/- per person per day.Bookings only through Department of Wild Life Conservation,493,T.B. Jaya Mawatha,Colomo 10,Tel- 094-691321 , 688261/2. Hints to those who rent park bungalows-Take your dry rations and linon.Take plenty of fresh fruit-pineapple,papayas,banana,mango etc.Vegetables,some drinking water,coke,soda and other carbonated drinks,liquor,suger,eggs,bread,bacon,frozen or roast meat.Please note that once you are in the park you will have to travel several miles outside the park to reach the nearest town,and there too all your needs may not be found.Take a stock of fuel for your vehicle.

But just make sure nothing is found wanting at the other end.If you are touring on your own make sure to obtain all provisions from Colombo,or at least Galle or Matara (if travelling on the Southern route);Haputale or Bandarawela (if coming through the hills) and Ratnapura (if comming from the gem country).Those visiting Wilpattu should obtain supplies from Kurunegala,Puttalam or Anurdapura.Take plenty of Photographic films with you. All tourist who visit the National Park are required to pay a park fee and a vehicle fee.This applies to those who rent park bungalows as well.Park fees: Rs. 100/- per prson per day.Vehicle fees: Rs. 10/- per jeep (four-wheel drive vehicle. Entry to Ruhunu National Park-Yala,is restricted to 30 vehicles at any given time. Use of a four-wheel drive vehicles is recommended.

Your bungalow cook is used to the preperation of both Western and Eastern five star hotel. Casual VisitorsCould avail themselves of conducted tour leaving Yala Park Office and Wilpattu Park Office at 6 a.m & 3 p.m.for a 2-1/2 hour tour of either.The Park entry fee is Rs.50/- per paxJeep hire for a pax of 5 is Rs.625/- (not including park fees).Seat in a mini coach at yala is Rs.140/- and Wilpattu Rs.150/- (inclusive of park fee).


welcome introduction paradise profile fact file land people history buddhism LINKS
wildlife beaches scenery images anuradhapura sigiriya kandy terrorism update HOME


      and VOTE for this Site!!!

Sri Lanka -  Overview Terrorism Update on Terrorism









Beaches Scenery Wildlife Parks Elephant Elephant Orphanage


Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka

The theme of wildlife conservation has been an ancient concept in Sri Lanka. It was considered noble in keeping with the teachings of Gouthama Buddha and later essential to the Island.

"...... ordering by beat of drum that no animals should be killed within a radius of seven gau from the city (Anuradhapura) the King gave security to animals. He gave security also to the fish in the twelve great tanks and bestowing on Kambodin-gold and cloth and whatever other kind of wealth they wished, he commanded them not to catch birds and so gave security to birds."

Royal decree of King Kirthi Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa (2nd Century AD)
Stone inscription at Ruwanveli Dagaba, Anuradhapura.

Sri Lanka, because of her diverse physical environmental and tropical situation, harbours rich biological diversity of global significance far larger in proportion to her size. While her cultural traditions have always enshrined the concern for all life, the Island has nearly fourteen per cent of her land area earmarked for the conservation of biodiversity and wildlife. Of the fourteen per cent, twelve per cent are Protected Areas under the Department of Wildlife Conservation. This stands out in comparison with most other countries in South Asia Region.

Sri Lanka's Wildlife Conservation

See list below for statistics on the numbered locations.

Wildlife Conservation Areas of Sri Lanka 


Protected Areas of Sri Lanka
Protected areas shown on the map


National Parks

Map # Name of Protected Area Land Area in Hectares  Established 


Wilpattu National Park 131,693.9  02.25.1938


Somawathiya Chaitiya National Park 37,762.2 09.02.1986


Floodplains National Park 17,350.4  08.07.1984 


Wasgomuwa National Park 36,948.0  08.07.1984


Maduru Oya National Park 58,849.8  11.09.1983 


Gal Oya National Park  25,900.0  02.12.1954 


Lahugala Kitulana National Park 1,554.0 10.31.1980 


Horton Plains National Parks 3,159.8  03.16.1988 


Kumana (Yala East) National Park 18,148.2 01.02.1970


Yala (Ruhuna) National Park 103,882.9  02.25.1938


Uda Walawe National Park 30,821.0 06.30.1972 

Sanctuaries and Reserves


Chundikullam Sanctuary 11,149.5 02.25.1938 


Kokilai Sanctuary The whole lagoon 05.18.1951 


Madhu Sanctuary 26,677.0 06.28.1968


Padaviya Sanctuary 6,475.0 06.21.1963 


Yoda Weva Sanctuary 4,330.3 09.24.1954


Sober Islands Sanctuary 71.0 06.21.1963


Naval Headworks Sanctuary 18,130.0 06.21.1963


Anuradhapura Sanctuary 3,500.7 05.27.1938


Mihintale Sanctuary 999.6 05.27.1938 


Seruwavila Sanctuary 15,540.0 10.09.1970 


Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve 1,528.1 11.07.1941


Minneriya-Giritale Sanctuary 7,529.1 02.12.1988


Sigiriya Sanctuary 5,099.2 01.26.1990


Polonnaruwa Sanctuary 1,521.7 05.27.1938


Kegalle Kurulu-Kelle Sanctuary 113.3 03.14.1941


Kandy Uda-Watte Kelle Sanctuary 104.0 07.29.1938


Victoria-Randenigala-Rantambe Sanctuary 42,088.8  01.30.1987


Peak Wilderness (Samanala) Sanctuary 22,379.9 10.25.1940 


Sinharaja Rainforest Sanctuary*    


Wirawila-Tissa Sanctuary 4,164.4  05.27.1938 


Bundala Sanctuary  6,216.0  12.05.1969 


Bellanvila-Attidiya Sanctuary  372.0 07.25.1990 


Yala Strict Nature Reserve 28,905.7 03.01.1938 

Other Protected Areas not shown on the map


Hakkgala Strict Nature Reserve 1,141.6 02.25.1938 


Tricona-Madu  25,019.4  10.24.1986 


Wilpattu North 632.0  11.07.1947 


Thel-Watte 1,424.5  02.25.1938 


Katagamuwa  1,003.7  05.27.1938 


Gallways Land 56.7  05.27.1938 


Thanga-Malley  131.5  05.27.1938


Rocky Islands (Ambalangoda)  1.2  10.25.1940 


Kataragama 837.7 05.27.1938


Palle-Malala 13.8  10.23.1942


Wel-Hella Katagilla 134.4 02.18.1949


Senanayake Samudra 2,324.0 02.12.1954


Gal-Oya East 12,432.0 02.12.1954


Gal-Oya South East 15,281.0 02.12.1954


Vauwni-Kulam 4,856.3 06.21.1963 


Sagamam  616.5 06.21.1963


Padawiya Tank 6,475.0 06.21.1963


Kimbulwana Oya 492.1  06.21.1963 


Maha Kandarawa Tank 400 yards around the tank 12.09.1966 


Seruwila-Allai 15,540.0 10.09.1970 


Ma Indul Kande-Nittambuwa 23.5  10.31.1972


Paraithivu Island 97.1  05.18.1973 


Kudumbi-Gala 4,403.0  09.28.1973


Horagolla.  13.4 10.05.1973 


Honduwa Island 8.5  11.19.1973 


Bundangala 1,841.4 11.01.1974


Pigeon Island 4.6 11.01.1974 


Ravana-Ella  1,932.0 05.18.1979


Hikkaduwa Coral Reef 44.5 05.18.1979


Sri Jayawardene Pura  449.2 01.09.1985


Kahala-Palle Kelle 21,690.0 07.11.1989


Parapuduwa Meheni Island 189.6 08.17.1988


Kalametiya Lagoon 712.3 06.28.1984


Click here for a visual bonanza of pictures and images of Sri Lanka
      and VOTE for this Site!!!

welcome introduction paradise profile fact file land people history buddhism LINKS
wildlife beaches scenery images anuradhapura sigiriya kandy terrorism update HOME

The World's only Orphange for Homeless Elephants...

Homeless elephants find refuge in Sri Lanka

baby elephantThey say an elephant never forgets, but what happens when an elephant is forgotten? In Sri Lanka, abandoned elephants who cannot survive in the wild find refuge at the Elephant Farm at Pinnewela (near Rambukkana).
elephant with branch

People feed, groom and care for 46 elephants on the farm. The babies drink milk warmed to body temperature from super-size bottles, seven per feeding.

"Maybe at first they can't find their own food. So we bring it to them here," said Idris Salley, a caretaker at the elephant farm.

Outcasts like Raja, an old blind elephant who was wounded by hunters, live on the farm, as does an elephant rumored to have killed more than a dozen people.

The farm supports itself in part through tourists, who come for a rare close-up view of the animals.

The orphans arrive from across the country, rescued from remote villages where they have lost their mothers to quarry accidents, shootings or lynch mobs.

At the Elephant Orphanage, deep in the tropical hill country of central Sri Lanka, the motherless calves are raised by human foster parents who ply them with bottled milk five times a day and give them an occasional swig of beer in an effort to help preserve Asia's dwindling wild-elephant population.

"Without the orphanage, most of them would be left to die or be killed," said Wijepala Ranbanda, curator of the elephant orphanage.

In Sri Lanka and throughout Asia, some of the world's larger remaining wild-elephant herds - about 50,000 animals across the continent - face threats to their survival from burgeoning human populations that are bulldozing forests into farmland and severing centuries-old migration routes with highways and urban development.

In recent months the competition for space between man and beast has led to unprecedented clashes as the giant pachyderms, squeezed out of their native habitat, have attacked villagers, raided farm crops and, recently, stormed the outskirts of Calcutta.

India is home to an estimated 40 per cent of the world's Asianelephant population, which is overwhelmingly wild, with only a few thousand domesticated and used for work or religious purposes.

"The scenario is rather bleak," said J. C. Daniel, a member of the steering committee of India's Project Elephant, a new government effort to protect wild elephants. "The main problem facing us today is habitat destruction. There is frequent straying into human settlements, where they raid the crops and people shoot them."

A single rogue elephant was blamed for the deaths of 27 villagers during a 10-day rampage in the northeastern Indian state of Assam last fall. Other marauding elephants also attacked farmers, razed crops and guzzled barrels of rice beer stored in village huts. The government dispatched mounted troopers to hunt down the beasts.

In January, panic-stricken residents of Calcutta erected giant walls along the city's borders to stop a herd of elephants that had strayed from customary migration paths.

"There has been a human explosion in the area," said Ashish Ghosh, director of the Calcutta-based Zoological Survey of India, which has been studying elephant-migration patterns. "There have been more and more disturbances in their normal migration routes. This is the first time in recent memory that these herds have come so close to urban habitat."

In Sri Lanka, a small island nation that is home to an estimated 3,000 wild elephants, the problem of diminishing habitat is even more acute. The island has been stripped of 50 per cent of its forest land in the last three decades, dramatically affecting the elephant herds.

"They want to roam, and they overlap with the people," said curator Ranbanda of the Elephant Orphanage, which was created in 1975 by government officials worried about habitat encroachment.

In the last 19 years, the number of deserted, maimed and impaired elephants that are provided foster care has jumped from about 10 a year to 56 last year. Some of the orphans raised in the sanctuary of palm groves and rolling grassland are now rearing their own babies at the orphanage.

The sheer size of the elephants makes them far more susceptible to the problems of human encroachment than tigers, rhinoceroses and other endangered animals that tend to live in small pockets, wildlife officials said.

The orphanage's newest arrival weighed 60 kilograms (132 pounds) when she was born nearly two months ago. She will drink about 25 litres of milk a day until she's weaned after 4 1/2 years.


Click here for a visual bonanza of pictures and images of Sri Lanka


welcome introduction paradise profile fact file land people history buddhism LINKS
wildlife beaches scenery images anuradhapura sigiriya kandy terrorism update HOME


Sri Lanka -  Overview Terrorism Update on Terrorism









Beaches Scenery Wildlife Parks Elephant Elephant Orphanage


If you enjoyed browsing this site, please vote for it by clicking the icon below

      and VOTE for this Site!!!



[ beaches ] [ scenery ] [ fauna ] [ wildlife ] [ conservation ] [ parks ] [ elephant ] [ orphanage ] [ land ]


Escati Free Counter
You are Visitor No:

View Counter Stats


Sign My Guestbook Guestbook by GuestWorld View My Guestbook