Wildlife of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island situated in the Indian Ocean with a total land area of 65, 610 sq km (25,332 sq mi). The Wildlife of Sri Lanka is diverse, unique and amazing for a country as small as this. The tropical climate and varied topography has resulted in a high level of biodiversity with a spectacular display of fauna and flora, a good proportion of it endemic, making it one of the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world and ranked amongst the highest in Asia. Every corner of Sri Lanka reverberates with the splendour of nature; close to 60 National Parks and Reserves, one of the highest leopard densities in the world, the single largest elephant gathering in the world, a world renowned reptile hotspot, 91 species of mammals which includes Asian Elephants, Leopard, Sloth Bear, the Blue Whale and the rare Red Slender Loris, 433 bird species of which 33 are endemic, 190 species of reptiles, 242 species of butterflies, 106 species of amphibians and many more stunning wildlife spectacles.

Yala National Park is better called ‘Leopard Country’ because it is acknowledged to have the highest leopard densities in the world. The Wilpattu National Park is famed for its nearly sixty large natural lakes and is home to the big three – Elephant, Leopard and the Sloth Bear. The Udawalawe National Park is an important habitat for large herds of Sri Lankan Elephants and a profusion of water birds. Wasgamuwa National Park exhibits high biodiversity with large herds of Sri Lankan Elephants. The Minneriya National Park is famed for its “Elephant Gathering” the largest natural gathering of wild Elephants on earth. Kumana is renowned for its simply amazing avifauna, especially its large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds, while Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds. The Horton Plains National Park is known as an important birding destination in addition to being one of the most scenic places. Pigeon Island and Hikkaduwa are two Marine National Parks that are home to some stunning marine life. The Sinharaja Rain Forest is a biodiversity hotspot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Peak Wilderness Sanctuary is a tropical rain forest with unusual geographical formations and a treasure trove of natural wonders. The Knuckles Mountain Range boasts of scenic landscapes, cloud forests and an abundance of endemic fauna and flora.