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The dominant natural vegetation of the area is characteristic of Lower Montane Wet Evergreen Forests while species composition is typical to what is found in a mid-elevation primary rainforest. The presence of species habitats on different layers of the canopy clearly indicates a healthy forest ecosystem at work. Towering Shorea trapezifolia and Shorea gardenineri form the pillars of the forest formation with Myristica dactyloides, Cullinia rosayroana, Bhesa montata, Alixnandra zeylanica filling in at different levels of the canopy. Because of the dense vegetation, wildlife is not as easily seen as at dry-zone national parks such as Yala.

There are about 3 elephants and the 15 or so leopards are rarely seen. The most common larger mammal is the endemic Purple-faced Langur. An interesting phenomenon is that birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the noisy Orange-billed Babbler. Of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic birds, the 20 rainforest species all occur here, including the elusive Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.

Reptiles include the endemic Green pit viper and Hump-nosed vipers, and there are a large variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. Invertebrates include the endemic Common Birdwing butterfly and the inevitable leeches. Each layer of the forest canopy has a unique set of environmental conditions and organisms. The emergent layer has tall trees such as Shorea congestiflora, Sorea stipularis, Shorea affinis soaring as much as 45m above the forest floor inhabited by eagles, monkeys, butterflies and insect-eating bats.Underneath, rising up to about 35m, Shorea distichta and Shorea megistophylla (some of the species in the primary canopy layer) form the primary canopy layer. Many species flower simultaneously giving habitat to monkeys, flying squirrels, bats, tree frogs, ants, beetles and birds such as flycatchers.
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Sinharaja Can be Accessd Using 3 Routes:

1. Kudawa entrance - Colombo --> Kalawana --> Kudawa
2. Pitadeniya Entrance - Galle or Matara --> Deniyaya --> Pitadeniya
3. Morning Side Entrance -- Galle or Matara --> Deniyaya --> Morning Side Estate

Annual precipitation for the reserve, recorded over 60 years, has a range of between 3600mm – 5000mm approximately, whereas annual temperatures range from 19°C - 35°C. South westerly seasonal monsoons greatly contribute to the annual rains, particularly through May – July, whereas from November - January seasonal monsoons approach from the north east.

The Sinharaja Forest Reserve represents Sri Lanka's only rainforest and is a living repository of a pristine ecosystem. The forest's high biodiversity includes flora endemic to the country as well as some endemic to the forest itself.



 
 
 
       
  SINHARAJA RAINFOREST ORG
Owned by Shailesh Adalja T/As Special Offer Holidays Com
Unit 3, 29 Middleton Road, Manchester M8 5DT, United Kingdom