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Sinharaja forest located in the south-west region of Sri Lanka is a viable region of tropical rainforest in the world. In this forest, around 50% of trees are considered to be endemic. This forest is also known as Bird watching Sri Lanka because it houses a variety of birds and endemic species and butterflies and vast variations of insects, reptiles, and amphibians. This forest has a series of ridges, aligned in an east-west direction and lies on the stretch of Kalu Ganga tributaries in the north and the Gin Ganga tributaries in the south. The vegetation in the Sinharaja forest can be recounted as the Tropical Lowland and West Green Forest. The forest was declared as the National Wilderness Area and Heritage Site under the National Heritage Wilderness Area Act. Sinharaja forest reserve provides the best time for the ecologists who want to explore and get to know about the variety of new and prepossessing natural species.
Sinharaja forest is also known for the small villages located within and around the reserve. The houses within and around the forest have limited space with an average of 20 sq. ft. The source of revenue for the people here in the making and selling of baskets and mats from rattan. People here collect and sell various plants of particular importance mainly of ayurvedic. This forest has the best past and present of people and species found and living here. There are also some nocturnal inhabitants present in the forest which can only be seen during the night-time such as civets and bats. The forest is also known for leech which is harmless.
Nearest Airport: Colombo
How to Reach: By air/train/road
Famous For: Tropical Rainforest,
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Best Time to Visit: January to March
Endemic species of birds
Sinharaja forest provides an environmental treasure. With an array of flora and fauna are known as the hotspot of biodiversity in the world. More than hundreds of birds are found here; the place is also rich in reptile population and a variety of insects. The enigmatic leopards are still found here. The forest also has the most beautiful waterfalls, valleys, and flowers. The violet faced langur monkeys are commonly found in this forest. Rats, shrews, giants, squirrels, and snakes are also found in this forest. The trekking path of visiting this forest provides an unforgettable experience for the nature lover and animal watchers.
Flora & Fauna: Sinharaja forest is the paradise for the flora and fauna in Sri Lanka. The region has various mammal species like lions, leopards, bears and monkeys, and different types of birds and butterflies. Red-faced Malkoha and brown-capped Babbler are commonly found in this forest. Different types of deers like Hg deer and Mouse deer can also be seen here. The forest is also known for the vibrant trees like ferns, bamboo, coconut, jak, etc. Flowering plants such as Mesua Ferra and Tabebuia are found in abundance in this forest. The forest also includes a variety of Daffodil and Wesak Orchids.
Wildlife Experience: The species found in this rainforest occupies the top canopy in the wildlife travel book. The birds found in this forest start calling early in the morning making the experience even more thrilling. The forest has both lowland and highland birds. Few species like Scaly Thrush and Wood Pigeon are restricted to the high hill. The forest has the ideological temperature for butterflies and insects. They ideally get active in the early morning when the sun comes out and the temperature gets warmer.
Name of Species Found in this Rainforest:
Butterflies: Ceylon Birdwing, Mormon, Lime Butterfly, Tailed Jay, Bluebottle, Sailor
Mammals: Golden Palm Civet, Small Flying Squirrel, Leopard, Cat
Reptiles: Rat snake, Kukri snake, Green pit-viper, Cobra
Singhagale Nature Trail: Singhagale Nature Trail is the gift from nature to enjoy every natural glimpse and scenic view away from the hustle-bustle of city life. To view the beautiful birds of Sri Lanka who will take you to the whole new world where beautiful natural creatures light up the sky with their chirp and melodious sound.
Mulawella Nature Trail: Mulawella Nature Trail is one of the most famous nature trails in the Sinharaja forest. This trial will take you to Sinharaja's highest mountain to view nature from the peak. It provides a tremendous view of the rainforest and marvellous of a variety of species.
Bird Watching: Bird watching in Sinharaja forest will surely give you an unforgettable experience. While doing the bird watching you capture some endearing movements of birds to keep them alive in your memory. Sinharaja is a world heritage site which is expanded to a large range around 1000 meters. You can see around 140 incredible species of birds. This is the only rainforest where 20 out of 25 native Sri Lankan birds can be seen. The birds can be found at both lowlands as well as highlands.
List of Birds Found: Scaly Thrush,Wood Pigeon,Dusky Blue Flycatcher,Yellow-Eared Bulbul,Blue Magpie,Red Faced Malkoha,Grey Hornbill,White-Headed Starling
Conservation: Conservation in Sinharaja is managed and done by the Forest department allocated under the Ministry of Lands and Land Development. The forest area is protected and maintained by the provision of forest ordinance. The outside area of the forest is intended to be used for the production of critical forest products. The buffer zone and strict regulation are set up in the forest to protect the area from defacement. The zooming is set-up for the outside area of the forest to ensure the stern protection of the rainforest for aesthetic reasons.