Wildlife of Sri Lanka

Wildlife of Sri Lanka – Wikipedia

Sri Lanka is home to roughly 91 species of mammals, 41 of which are threatened (9 critically). 16 of the species are endemic, of which 14 are threatened,[2] including the large Sloth Bear, the endemic Sri Lanka Leopard and Sri Lankan Elephant and the Sambar. Bats have the highest amount of species (out of 11 mammalian orders), with 30 different species. Sri Lanka’s surrounding waters are home to 26 species of Cetaceans. See also List of mammals of Sri Lanka

Flora and fauna of Sri Lanka – Wikiepdia

  • The mountains and the southwestern part of the country, known as the “wet zone”, receive ample rainfall at an average of 2,500 mm (98 in). Most of the east, southeast, and northern parts of the country comprise the “dry zone”, which receives between 1,200 mm (47 in) and 1,900 mm (75 in) of rain annually. Much of the rain in these areas falls from October to January; during the rest of the year there is very little precipitation. The arid northwest and southeast coasts receive the least amount of rain at 600 mm (24 in) to 1,200 mm (47 in) per year.
  • Varieties of flowering acacias are well adapted to the arid conditions and flourish on the Jaffna Peninsula. Among the trees of the dry-land forests, are some valuable species such as satinwood, ebony, ironwood, mahogany and teak. In the wet zone, the dominant vegetation of the lowlands is a tropical evergreen forest, with tall trees, broad foliage, and a dense undergrowth of vines and creepers. Subtropical evergreen forests resembling those of temperate climates flourish in the higher altitudes. Forests at one time covered nearly the entire island, but by the late 20th century lands classified as forests and forest reserves covered around ? of the land.
  • The Yala National Park in the southeast protects herds of elephant, deer, and peacocks, and the Wilpattu National Park in the northwest preserves the habitats of many water birds, such as storks, pelicans, ibis, and spoonbills. During the Mahaweli Ganga Program of the 1970s and 1980s in northern Sri Lanka, the government set aside four areas of land totaling 1,900 km2 (730 sq mi) as national parks. The island has four biosphere reserves, Bundala, Hurulu Forest Reserve, the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya, and Sinharaja.
  • The national flower of Sri Lanka is the Nymphaea stellata (Sinhalese Nil Mahanel),[24] the national tree is the Ironwood (Sinhalese Na),[25] and the national bird is the Sri Lanka Junglefowl, which is endemic to the country.

A guide to reptiles of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known as one of the greatest herpetological paradise in the world. It’s blessed in having a high species diversity & endemism. According to researches, a total of 184 reptile species occurred in Sri Lanka, & it’s also known 105 to be endemic. Among them 22 species of Saurian reptiles & 10 species of Serpentoid reptiles are considered as geographical relicts.

Evaluating Sri Lanka’s amphibian diversity

Mammals in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka

The hotspot is home to about 140 mammal species, although less than 20 are endemic. While mammal diversity is lower here than in some other tropical hotspots, the hotspot does support a significant diversity of bats, with nearly 50 species and one endemic genus, represented by the bat Latidens salimalii (CR), which is endemic to the High Wavy Mountains in the Western Ghats. In addition, there are three genera confined to Sri Lanka, each represented by single species: Pearson’s long-clawed shrew (Solisorex pearsoni, EN), Kelaart’s long-clawed shrew (Feroculus feroculus, EN), and the Ohiya rat (Srilankamys ohiensis).

Among flagship mammal species, the most prominent are the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus, EN), found in highly fragmented tropical rain forests in the Western Ghats, and the endemic Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius, EN), which lives in the montane grasslands of the Western Ghats. One of the most threatened Indian mammals, the Malabar civet (Viverracivettina, CR), is known only from the Malabar Plains, which are densely populated and the focus of most development activities.

The hotspot also has important populations of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus, EN). The Western Ghats is home to about 11,000 animals, while in Sri Lanka the species has been nearly extirpated from the wet zone and only about 2,500 survive elsewhere on the island.

Forests of Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, two-thirds of the people live in the wet zone, which harbors greater endemism than the comparatively less populated and more extensive dry zone. Most of the island’s rainforests were cleared originally for the cultivation of cinchona (a medicinal drug containing quinine and related compounds) and coffee, which gave way later to tea and rubber. The remaining forests cover only 4.6 percent of the wet zone. This remaining forest comprises some 140 fragments; the three largest are Peak Wilderness (250 km2), the Knuckles Hills (175 km2), and the Sinharaja World Heritage Site (90 km2), but the majority of these fragments are less than 10 km2 in extent.

One of the most prevalent threats to the remaining forests is encroachment into protected areas. Small-scale tea planters and farmers are increasingly utilizing protected forests, and cardamom cultivators in the Knuckles Range and Peak Wilderness areas clear the forest understory and extract firewood. In general, poaching and the extraction of forest products (timber, firewood, medicinal plants) are a problem in almost all forest reserves, and contribute to habitat fragmentation and significant edge effects. Also, the unrestricted use of agrochemicals by farmers and planters in these areas poses a serious threat to ecosystem services and groups such as amphibians. Finally, invasive species pose a growing threat, especially to aquatic habitats.

Rare primate photographed for the first time

The Horton Plains slender loris (Loris tardigradus nycticeboides, thought extinct by researchers for over six decades, has finally posed for a photograph. This small nocturnal primate lives in the surviving montane tropical forest of Sri Lanka. The species was photographed during a recent expedition by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)’s EDGE program in conjunction with Sri Lankan researchers.

Sri Lankan Wildlife (Bradt Travel Guide)

Sri Lanka is home to elephants, leopards, bears and water buffalo and boasts one of the highest species densities of marine mammals in the world.  An ideal field guide and armchair read, this book is illustrated with colour photographs of species and includes maps charting animal habitats to aid identification.

Table of Contents

Sri Lanka: a biodiversity jewel, How to use this book, The Sri Lankan environment
Habitats and Reserves
Habitats, National parks and reserves
Asian elephant, Ungulates, Carnivores, Primates, Squirrels, Bats, Other mammals
Birds of town and garden, Birds of the rainforest, Birds of the highlands, Birds of the dry lowlands, Birds of the wetlands, Birds of the coast, Endemic birds
Reptiles and Amphibians
Lizards, Snakes, Crocodiles, Turtles, terrapins and tortoises, Amphibians
Lower invertebrates, Arthropods, Butterflies, Dragonflies and damselflies
The Underwater World
Freshwater fish, Marine life, Under the sea, Marine mammals
Getting About
Independent travel, Tours, Suggested itinerary, Photography tips
Further Information
Books, Societies, Finding out more

Where to watch primates in Sri Lanka, Watching nocturnal wildlife, Snake bites, Nesting sea turtles in Sri Lanka

A Photographic Guide to Mammals of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a wildlife-watcher’s paradise, and reserves such as Yala and Sinharaja are now becoming world-famous as ecotourism destinations. This guide includes detailed coverage of 43 species of mammal from the island, including such iconic creatures as the Leopard, Sloth Bear and Asian Elephant. The other species that feature include the Wild Boar, Sambar and Spotted Deer, as well as smaller mammals such as the various species of monkey, mongoose and giant squirrel. There is a general introduction with an overview of Sri Lankan mammals, and tips on where and how to watch them. The species accounts include details of appearance, distribution and status, as well as fascinating glimpses of the animals’ lives from the author’s own personal observations. Each species account is accompanied by at least one and in most cases several clear colour photographs of the subject.

Snakes and Other Reptiles of Sri Lanka (Photographic Guides)

This useful guide provides a comprehensive overview of the wide variety of snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles and tortoises to be found in Sri Lanka. Over 130 species, primarily native but with the odd exotic, are included in the book. Each description is supported by a clear colour photograph taken where possible in the snake’s natural habitat. The guide looks at the more common species as well as focusing on some of the rarer, and in some cases highly endangered, species.

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