Ranked amongst the world’s great biodiversity hotspots, Sri Lanka is arguably the best destination in Asia for viewing wildlife. Its isolation, copious rainfall generated by two distinct monsoons, and notable range of altitude and terrain lend a biodiversity typical of a much larger continent. Most of its fauna is endemic and mammals alone number 113 species. Even the most casual visitor is likely to relish its renown as one of the world’s best places to watch and photograph wild elephants and leopards.
Without doubt, the secret of the island’s success as a wildlife haven are the numerous sanctuaries that exist here. For over two millennia Sri Lanka’s royalty created nature reserves as an expression of the Buddhist tenets that revere all forms of life. Today approximately 26% of the country’s land is classed as ‘protected area’, encompassing numerous sanctuaries, national parks and forest reserves.
Aside from elephants and leopards, other notable species include sloth bears, jackals, flying foxes (or fruit bats), lorises, palm civets, mongooses, pangolins, mugger (or marsh) crocodiles, water monitors, and a great many snakes (which invariably remain out of harm’s way). Birdlife, too, is prolific with over 400 species, 26 of which are endemic.
TransIndus Brochures 2017/18
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