Nature and Wildlife
In the 1800’s Sri Lanka was an island filled with wildlife. Animal and man co-existed in a balance of serving each other. The village folk hunted and consumed a few of these animals, namely deer, sambur, buffalo and wild boar, for their consumption and survival. Yet, with the arrival of the British, the island saw a new era where hunting was a sport. This being their favourite sport, the British loved to indulge in hunting and the animal population reduced in number. In 1872 the government passed a law to prevent this destruction of animals namely, buffalo, deer, sambur and peafowl. This law was established on the fact that poaching was taking place in the villages. It was discovered that wild boar, leopards and deer were poached for their skins and antlers. Today, nature reserves, sanctuaries and wildlife parks serve to conserve the animal population of the country. What is known as, Strict Nature Reserves can be found in Hakgala, Ritigala and Yala - Block 2.
National Parks are located at Bundala, Gal Oya, Horagolla, Horton Plains, Lahugala Kitulana, Lunugamvehera, Abdulla, Maduru Oya, Pigeons Islands, Somawathi, Flood Plains and the more famous of these parks at Minneriya, Udawalawe, Wasgamuwa, Wilpattu, Yala - Ruhuna, Yala-East – Kumana is home to bears, elephants, deer, monkeys, leopards and several other animal and bird species. Hikkaduwa National Park is one of the three marine national parks in Sri Lanka. Bellanwila Attidiya, Gall Oya-Northeastern and Mihinthale are three of the many Sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. The most famous Rainforest is the Sinharaja, where a sense of majestic splendour in both fauna and flora are present.
Strict Nature Reserves | National Parks | Sanctuaries | Biosphere Reserves | Rainforests