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Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka

The theme of wildlife conservation has been an ancient concept in Sri Lanka. It was considered noble in keeping with the teachings of Gouthama Buddha and later essential to the Island.

"...... ordering by beat of drum that no animals should be killed within a radius of seven gau from the city (Anuradhapura) the King gave security to animals. He gave security also to the fish in the twelve great tanks and bestowing on Kambodin-gold and cloth and whatever other kind of wealth they wished, he commanded them not to catch birds and so gave security to birds."

Royal decree of King Kirthi Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa (2nd Century AD)
Stone inscription at Ruwanveli Dagaba, Anuradhapura.

Sri Lanka, because of her diverse physical environmental and tropical situation, harbours rich biological diversity of global significance far larger in proportion to her size. While her cultural traditions have always enshrined the concern for all life, the Island has nearly fourteen per cent of her land area earmarked for the conservation of biodiversity and wildlife. Of the fourteen per cent, twelve per cent are Protected Areas under the Department of Wildlife Conservation. This stands out in comparison with most other countries in South Asia Region.


 

Sri Lanka's Wildlife Conservation

See list below for statistics on the numbered locations.

Locations of wildlife conservation 

 

Protected Areas of Sri Lanka
Protected areas shown on the map

 

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National Parks

Map # Name of Protected Area Land Area in Hectares  Established 

1

Wilpattu National Park 131,693.9  02.25.1938

2

Somawathiya Chaitiya National Park 37,762.2 09.02.1986

3

Floodplains National Park 17,350.4  08.07.1984 

4

Wasgomuwa National Park 36,948.0  08.07.1984

5

Maduru Oya National Park 58,849.8  11.09.1983 

6

Gal Oya National Park  25,900.0  02.12.1954 

7

Lahugala Kitulana National Park 1,554.0 10.31.1980 

8

Horton Plains National Parks 3,159.8  03.16.1988 

9

Kumana (Yala East) National Park 18,148.2 01.02.1970

10

Yala (Ruhuna) National Park 103,882.9  02.25.1938

11

Uda Walawe National Park 30,821.0 06.30.1972 

Sanctuaries and Reserves

12

Chundikullam Sanctuary 11,149.5 02.25.1938 

13

Kokilai Sanctuary The whole lagoon 05.18.1951 

14

Madhu Sanctuary 26,677.0 06.28.1968

15

Padaviya Sanctuary 6,475.0 06.21.1963 

16

Yoda Weva Sanctuary 4,330.3 09.24.1954

17

Sober Islands Sanctuary 71.0 06.21.1963

18

Naval Headworks Sanctuary 18,130.0 06.21.1963

19

Anuradhapura Sanctuary 3,500.7 05.27.1938

20

Mihintale Sanctuary 999.6 05.27.1938 

21

Seruwavila Sanctuary 15,540.0 10.09.1970 

22

Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve 1,528.1 11.07.1941

23

Minneriya-Giritale Sanctuary 7,529.1 02.12.1988

24

Sigiriya Sanctuary 5,099.2 01.26.1990

25

Polonnaruwa Sanctuary 1,521.7 05.27.1938

26

Kegalle Kurulu-Kelle Sanctuary 113.3 03.14.1941

27

Kandy Uda-Watte Kelle Sanctuary 104.0 07.29.1938

28

Victoria-Randenigala-Rantambe Sanctuary 42,088.8  01.30.1987

29

Peak Wilderness (Samanala) Sanctuary 22,379.9 10.25.1940 

30

Sinharaja Rainforest Sanctuary*    

31

Wirawila-Tissa Sanctuary 4,164.4  05.27.1938 

32

Bundala Sanctuary  6,216.0  12.05.1969 

33

Bellanvila-Attidiya Sanctuary  372.0 07.25.1990 

34

Yala Strict Nature Reserve 28,905.7 03.01.1938 

Other Protected Areas not shown on the map

35

Hakkgala Strict Nature Reserve 1,141.6 02.25.1938 

36

Tricona-Madu  25,019.4  10.24.1986 

37

Wilpattu North 632.0  11.07.1947 

38

Thel-Watte 1,424.5  02.25.1938 

39

Katagamuwa  1,003.7  05.27.1938 

40

Gallways Land 56.7  05.27.1938 

41

Thanga-Malley  131.5  05.27.1938

42

Rocky Islands (Ambalangoda)  1.2  10.25.1940 

43

Kataragama 837.7 05.27.1938

44

Palle-Malala 13.8  10.23.1942

45

Wel-Hella Katagilla 134.4 02.18.1949

46

Senanayake Samudra 2,324.0 02.12.1954

47

Gal-Oya East 12,432.0 02.12.1954

48

Gal-Oya South East 15,281.0 02.12.1954

49

Vauwni-Kulam 4,856.3 06.21.1963 

50

Sagamam  616.5 06.21.1963

51

Padawiya Tank 6,475.0 06.21.1963

52

Kimbulwana Oya 492.1  06.21.1963 

53

Maha Kandarawa Tank 400 yards around the tank 12.09.1966 

54

Seruwila-Allai 15,540.0 10.09.1970 

55

Ma Indul Kande-Nittambuwa 23.5  10.31.1972

56

Paraithivu Island 97.1  05.18.1973 

57

Kudumbi-Gala 4,403.0  09.28.1973

58

Horagolla.  13.4 10.05.1973 

59

Honduwa Island 8.5  11.19.1973 

60

Bundangala 1,841.4 11.01.1974

61

Pigeon Island 4.6 11.01.1974 

62

Ravana-Ella  1,932.0 05.18.1979

63

Hikkaduwa Coral Reef 44.5 05.18.1979

64

Sri Jayawardene Pura  449.2 01.09.1985

65

Kahala-Palle Kelle 21,690.0 07.11.1989

66

Parapuduwa Meheni Island 189.6 08.17.1988

67

Kalametiya Lagoon 712.3 06.28.1984

SRI LANKA PICTURES

Click here for a visual bonanza of pictures and images of Sri Lanka

welcome introduction paradise profile fact file land people places history buddhism LINKS
wildlife beaches scenery images anuradhapura sigiriya kandy tea terrorism update HOME

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Click here for a Welcome To Sunny Sri Lanka Click here to explore the Land of Beautiful Sri Lanka Click here for info on the People of Sri Lanka Click here for a safari of the Places to Visit in Sri Lanka Click here for a visual bonanza of Images and Pictures of Sri Lanka
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