Sunday, November 8, 2009


Today, the spirit of the legend remains captured in solitude in the silent forest and the rising mist of the early dawn. More than time however separate modern explorer in the Sinharaja forest from its legendary inhabitations, man has rapidly penetrated the seemingly inaccessible wildness of the Sri Lanka’s rain forest which once covered perhaps over 100,000ha.Of the south western hills and lowlands. The present reserve is but a glimpse of its former glory, occupying a narrow silver of land 21km. in length and width, covering 11187 ha. Of undisturbed and logged forest, scrub reserve by UNESCO in 1978, then a national wilderness Area in 1988 under the national heritage wilderness Area act no. 3 of 1988 and subsequently a world heritage site in 1988.


The vegetation of Sinharaja may be described either as tropical lowland rain forest or tropical wet evergreen forest. The most striking characteristics of the forest are the loftiness of the dominant tree, the straightness of their bole, the abundance of regeneration and the diversity of species. the average height of the trees very between 35 to 40metres. Some individuals rise to 50metres. Out of 25 genera endemic to Sri Lanka 13 are represented in Sinharaja.

There is a high degree of endemism among the butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka have been record in Sinharaja.

(Insect Trapper-nepenthes distillatoria)

The “pitcher plant “locally known as bandura, family nepenthaceae is a creeper on shrub and treelets. The leaf tip modified to form and elongated sac (a pitcher) filled with a liquid which traps insect to be digested by the plaint. The thickened stem of the plant is used for tying, in the construction of wattle and daub houses and ladders by the natives. Usually grow along forest margins and disturbed sites.


Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local name: Ceylon blue magpie

Sri lanka blue magpie –urocissa ornate. This beautiful endemic bird is most appropriately called locally as “kahibella” meaning beautiful damsel of the forest according to some etymologists it is a social species living in small groups of 4-6 individuals out side the breeding season. During the breeding season the pairs move out but remain not far away from the rest of its social members. They feed mainly on insects ,small lizards etc. its distribution is confined to the forest away from human habitations.

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