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Special Interest
Wild Life in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a paradise of wild life, one of the smallest islands with largest bio diversity. It is no wonder that 12% of the country is dedicated to wild life.

The island is home for the largest marine and land mammal living up on earth the elephant and the whale. Sri Lanka is also home for many rare species of amphibians, insects and reptiles that are endemic. It is rare and significant that one could see so much within a country that is only 65,610 Km2.

Big cats of Sri Lanka

Leopards being the primary wild life attraction, it is the largest predator of Sri Lanka. Leopards are found in most of the large national parks as well as wet zone forest reserves such as Sinharaja, Peak wilderness and Knuckles forest reserves.

Although leopards are on lime light, Sri Lanka is also home for the Rusty Spotted cat – Prionailurus Rubiginosus which is the world’s smallest wild cat; fishing cat – Prionailurus Viverrinus a nocturnal hunter generally associated with water, has been spotted across the country and the Jungle cat – Felis Chaus, can be spotted in most national park and reserves.

The big cats despite their mightiness are very shy creatures when it comes to human encounters. Support of a well trained naturalist is vital to catch a glimpse of Sri Lankan Big Cats.


Sri Lanka is world renowned for its Elephants for as long as written history leads; Lankan Elephant (Elephas Maximus) is a sub species of Asian Elephants native to Sri Lanka, and very different from its African kin. The Sri Lankan Elephant population is largely restricted to the dry zone in the north.

Elephants can be widely spotted in most of the national parks and they also live outside the protected area, however,sadly the elephant numbers have drastically dropped over the past two centuries, thanks to colonial rulers considering shooting elephants a sport and major developments followed by the independence, hence Sri Lankan elephant has been listed as endangered on the ICUN Red List.


Sri Lanka is home for 171 species of reptiles, of which 56 are threatened and 101 are endemic. Most of reptiles are snakes and largest are two species of crocodiles, the mugger crocodile and saltwater crocodile.

The lizard genus (calotes) species can be commonly spotted, even in home gardens with vibrant colors, however most of the reptiles are hidden in the dense of rain forests and marsh land. Large reptiles such as crocodiles, monitors and pythons can be spotted in national parks.

Marine Life

Sri Lanka’s most popular marine attractions being whales, dolphins and marine turtles, one could have the opportunity of seeing all of them in a single tour, especially in the period from December to April.

Island’s coral reeves are also home for Rays, Eels, Clown Fish, Porcupine, Moorish Idol, Unicorn & Moorish Angle and the common species belonging to the families of Aroporidae (stghorn corals), Poritidae (Donnie Corals) and Pocelloporidae (Flower Corals).

Birds of Sri Lanka

The bird life of Sri Lanka is very rich on contrast to its size; to date 433 species of birds have been recorded in the island, 233 being resident and 26 endemic.

Bundala National Park is a paradise of tropical dry zone birds, the great Flemingo visits in large flocks and the sight of waterfowls, Cormorants, large birds such as Grey Heron, Black headed Ibis, Spoonbills, Asian Openbill and Painted Stork are not to be missed.

Sinharaja too is a heaven for a serious bird lover; some of the rarest species are large Billed Tree Wabler, Grey Tit, Black Headed-Oriole, Paradise Flycatcher, Spottd Winged Thrush Brown Shrike and Sri lankan Brown Capped Babbler.