Bird Watching

Wet evergreen forests

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Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Lion Kingdom.

The reserve is only 21 km (13 mi) from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km (4.3 mi) from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

The Sri Lankan junglefowl (Gallus lafayettii),is a member of the Galliformes bird order which is endemic to Sri Lanka, where it is the national bird.

Intermediate forests

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These forests are located in the transition zone or between the tropical rain forests and dry mixed evergreen forests. There are some species that are common to both types of forests, but some are found only in the semi evergreen forests. Lunumidella (Melia duba), Pihimbiya ( Filicium decipiens) and Hulanhik (Chukrasia)are some of these tree species.

 

The green-billed coucal (Centropus chlororhynchos) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which is endemic to Sri Lanka

 

Montane forests

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These high altitude forests are the source of almost all Sri Lanka’s major rivers. The protection of these forests, which are catchments, will ensure that the rivers have water right throughout the year especially during the dry weather. A catchment is where the rainwater is absorbed into the soil and released steadily throughout the year.

 

The crimson-backed flameback (Chrysocolaptes stricklandi) is a species of bird in the Picidae family. It is found on Sri Lanka

Dry Forests

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The Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests are a tropical dry broadleaf forest ecoregion of the island of Sri Lanka. The ecoregion covers an area of 48,400 square kilometers (18,700 sq mi), which includes most of the island of Sri Lanka, with the exception of the islands' southwestern corner and central highlands, home to the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests and Sri Lanka montane rain forests ecoregions, respectively, and the northern Jaffna Peninsula, part of the Deccan thorn scrub forests ecoregion.

The Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests are made up mostly of evergreen trees, which distinguish them from the deciduous trees that characterize most other tropical dry broadleaf forest ecoregions. The dry-zone dry evergreen forests most closely resemble the East Deccan dry evergreen forests of India's southeast coast

 

The Sri Lanka hill myna, Ceylon myna or Sri Lanka myna (Gracula ptilogenys), is a myna, a member of the starling family. This bird is endemic to Sri Lanka.

Sub- montane forests

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The sub montane forests are distributed at between 1000-1500m and those above that, 1500-2500m, are the montane forests. They are also known as cloud forests. The hot air of the lowlands rise during the morning hours and condense creating huge clouds, which become so heavy that they result in afternoon rains. They cover a total of 1.1% of our land area. The montane forests are characterized by dense growth of epiphytes and lichens. These forests have a lower canopy and dense undergrowth. In these forests twisted, stunted trees are full of orchids, mosses, lichens, climbers and ferns.

At lower elevations, the cloud forests give way to a variety of vegetation, consisting of both temperate and tropical plants, and grassland savannas. Half of Sri Lanka's endemic flowering plants and more than 34% of its endemic trees, shrubs and herbs are restricted to these diverse montane forests.

 

The Sri Lanka hanging parrot (Loriculus beryllinus) is a small parrot which is a resident endemic breeder in Sri Lanka.

 

Arid scrublands

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These forests cover the extreme Southeastern and Northwestern regions of the country, which have very long dry periods. They have low trees and thorny undergrowth dominated by thorny shrubs. They are called Tropical Thorn Forests. Temperatures here are high being over 34C and the rainfall is below 1250 mm. The thorny shrubs have adaptations to store water and are able to live on very little water.

 

The red-faced malkoha (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. This Malkoha species is endemic to Sri Lanka