aalanka tours

Wildlife

Wildlife of Sri Lanka includes its flora and fauna and their natural habitats. Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of biological endemism (16% of the fauna and 23% of flowering plants are endemic in the world even though it is relatively small.

  • Mammals

Sri Lanka is home to roughly 91 species of mammals, 41 of which are threatened (9 critically). 16 of the species are endemic, of which 14 are threatened, including the large Sloth Bear, the endemic Sri Lanka Leopard and Sri Lankan Elephant and the Sambar. Bats have the highest amount of species (out of 200 mammalian orders), with 30 different species. Sri Lanka’s surrounding waters are home to 26 species of Cetaceans.

  • Reptiles

Sri Lanka currently contains 171 species of reptiles, of which 56 are threatened and 101 are endemic. Most of the reptiles are snakes and the largest are two species of Crocodile, the Mugger crocodile and Saltwater Crocodile.

  • Amphibians

Sri Lanka has one of the richest diversity of amphibians in the world, containing over 106 species of amphibians (over 90 of which are endemic) and has been claimed to have the highest amphibian species density in the world though that has been challenged. 52 species of amphibians in Sri Lanka are threatened, all but one of which are endemic.

  • Birds

The national bird, Sri Lanka Junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii) is endemic.

Sri Lanka is home to 227 species of birds (though some past estimates put it as high as 486), 46 of which are threatened (10 critically).

  • Fish

Cherry barb (puntius titteya) is a tropical fish which is native to Sri Lanka, but introduced populations are established in Mexico and Colombia.

Sri Lanka contains 82 species of freshwater fish, of which 28 are threatened.

  • Molluscs

There is known over 246 land gastropods of Sri Lanka. Fauna of Sri Lanka also include freshwater snails. The number of marine molluscs of Sri Lanka is not known and there is about 240 species listed meantime in 2006.

  • Scorpions

There are 18 species of scorpions which are found in Sri Lanka. Out of these 18 species, 7 species are endemic to Sri Lanka. In addition to the endemic species, 4 subspecies of the 9 non-endemic species are also endemic to Sri Lanka.

  • Flora

Maha Rath Mala (Rhododendron arboreum ssp. zeylanicum) is a rare sub-species of Rhododendron arboreum found in Central Highlands of Sri Lanka.

Diversity and endemism of plants in Sri Lanka are quite high. There are 3,210 flowering plants belonging to 1,052 genera. 916 species and 18 genera are endemic to the island. Additionally, all but one of the island’s more than 55 dipterocarps are confined to Sri Lanka. Although not lately assessed, Sri Lanka’s ferns are estimated at about 350 species. Diversity, richness, and endemism across all taxa groups are much higher in the wet zone than in the dry zone. Wet zone, which accounts for only a quarter of Sri Lanka’s land area, harbours 88 percent of the flowering plants, and 95 percent of country’s flowering plant endemics. The natural forests of Sri Lanka are categorized into eight types.

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