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Wild Life in Sri Lanka

Wildlife Park 06
Horton Plains 
Strikingly different from the other national parks in that, visitors to Horton Plains are allowed to walk on their own on the designated tracks. The scenic beauty and wildlife of Horton Plains which is a remote 2000m high plateau just south of Nuwara Eliya is set to impress even the most discerning traveler. Most habitats and endemic plants and animals representative of our wet and montane zones are sure to be found here. This national park is abundant with some of the smaller endemic mammals like sambar, endemic toque macaque, purple faced langur, leopard, wild otter, long tailed giant squirrel, horned lizard and bear monkey. If you are really keen on seeing the Sri Lanka whistling thrush, Sri Lanka magpie, dull-blue flycatcher, orange-billed babbler and the black-throated munia then Horton Plains is definitely worth a visit, as this is one of the best places in the whole island to see them. This park is a paradise for butterflies as well. Various raptors such as crested serpent eagle and mountain hawk eagle can be seen circling over the plains. Among reptiles are snake and the wide spread agamid.


Wild Life in Sri Lanka

Wildlife Park 05
Minneriya National Park

Virtually built around the Minneriya reservoir, this park is certainly one of the most scenic in the island. During the dry season from June to September, the reservoir becomes a favorite gathering place for scores of elephants who get together to eat, drink and be merry. Many species of mammals such as sambar, spotted deer, leopard, sloth bear and endemics like the toque macaque and purple faced langur are favorite attractions.

Minneriya is full of a vast number of birds. 160 species are found here. Look out for the Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka hanging parrot, Sri Lanka brown capped babbler, crimson fronted barbet, black crested bulbul, all of which are endemics. Nine species of amphibians have been reported to live in this park and among them are endemic and endangered slender wood frog and common tree frog. Endemic and endangered lizards like the red lipped lizard are also found here. 26 species of fish are found in the reservoirs.

Wild Life In Sri Lanka

Wildlife Park 04

Yala National Park

The largest national park in Sri Lanka formed by a completely diverse landscape ranging from the ocean to jungles, scrubland, freshwater rivers and lakes, which support a large variety of wildlife. Over 30 species of mammals are known to be found here, including threatened species such as the sloth bear, leopard, elephant and water buffalo. You’ll probably have the best chance of sighting a leopard here than anywhere else on the island.

Some 120-130 birds’ species can be seen at Yala. Raptors like the crested serpent eagle, and white bellied sea eagle and water birds including the lesser flamingo, pelican, painted stork and night heron can be spotted in the lagoons. The north-east monsoon is seen to attract thousands of migrating waterfowl including, pintail, white winged black tern and eurasian curlew which mix with residents such as whistling duck and yellow wattled lapwing. Other interesting birds’ species you could spot at Yala are the Sri Lanka junglefowl, black-necked stork, and pompadour green pigeon, three species of bee-eaters and large flocks of flamingoes.
Yala is also home to a variety of reptiles such as crocodiles, the venomous Russel’s viper and a variety of sea turtles. The endangered olive ridley and leatherback turtles return to the Yala coastline often for nesting.

Photo copied from GoSurf Lanka

Wild Life in Sri Lanka

Wildlife Park 03
Bundala National Park

A simply picture perfect national park bordering the ocean fringed with sand dunes, and dotted with numerous lagoons. The five lagoons of this park are some of the most important wintering areas for migratory shore birds in the country, regularly accommodating over 15,000 at any one time! This park is the last refuge of the greater flamingo and during the northeast monsoon up to 2000 flamingoes have been seen.

You don’t have to look too hard to spot elephant, spotted deer and wild buffalo among the thorny scrub jungle in the park. The open habitat makes it ideal to spot other mammals such as the endemic toque macaque, common langur, jackal, leopard, fishing cat, rusty spotted cat and porcupine. Sea turtles love the golden beaches and sand dunes of Bundala, and frequent here often to nest. Among reptiles’ the mugger crocodile, estuarine crocodile, common monitor, python, endemic flying snake and beautiful star tortoise can be sighted here. The park is the home of every species of water bird resident in the country and during the northern winter, it is the final destination for countless numbers species. It is also home to several species of migratory waterfowl. The rare black necked stork is said to be a breeding resident in Sri Lanka.
Bundala’s richness in birds’ species is why it was declared a Ramsar Site in 1990, having international significance for wetland birds.

Wild Life in Sri Lanka

Wildlife Park 02
Wasgomuwa National Park
is located in the dry zone, Wasgomuwa National Park is almost completely surrounded by large rivers on all its sides. Probably one of the best places in the island for near wildlife fanatics as it contains more wildlife, in terms of both wild fauna and flora. 23 species of mammals, 143 species of birds (5 of which are endemic), 35 species of reptiles (of which 7 are endemic), 15 species of amphibians, 17 species of fish and 52 species of butterflies are known to be found here.

Wasgamuwa bear
Populations of around 150 elephants freely roam the park. Other interesting animals you could catch a glimpse of include the leopard as well as other endemic animals such as the purple faced langur, sloth bear, spotted deer, sambar and birds like the painted stork, oriental darter, purple swamphen, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka grey and malabar pied hornbills, white-rumped shama and in winter many migrant waders and ducks.
Wasgamuwa Deer
Both the saltwater and the freshwater crocodiles take refuge in the waters of this national park. The park also harbors some reptiles and amphibians like the endemic skink and the rare endemic palm frond frog.

Wild Life in Sri Lanka

Wildlife Park 01
Udawalawa National Park
Is situated in the dry zone and is a large area of scrub, grass and old plantation around a large reservoir. Udawalawe National Park is very well known for its outstanding scenic beauty and wealth of fauna species, particularly mammals and birds. One of the main attractions of this park is the opportunity to view elephants at a really close range.

Herds of elephants, populations of sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar, water buffalo common langur, jackal, sloth bear, leopard, black napped hare, endemic golden palm civet and mongoose are some of the animals that can be sighted at this national park. Udawalawe is also a great place to watch water birds. Rare visitors and breeding residents such as the Indian cormorant and osprey can be found on the reservoir. Notable endemic species are the Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka spurfowl, malabar pied hornbill, Sri Lanka grey hornbill and brown-capped babbler.