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Destruction of nature reserves in to new face

Sri Lankan government is planning to change the existing fauna and flora act, in order to enable the use of buffer zones of nature reserves in the future projects. Naturalist seen the danger of the upcoming changes with rules and regulation has protested against the proposed change of regulations.

As per the regulation that prevail at the moment construction of any kind is not allowed within the 500 meters of buffer zone.

Deforestation is a serious threat for the environment in the country. Therefore what authorities need to do is strengthening the existing rules and regulation to protect the environment.

Recently a proposed road, which was going through the Sinharaja was stopped by court order after the complaints lodged by naturalists in the country. Proposed road was planned to be constructed through the Last remaining primeval rain forest in the southern part of the island.

Earlier in a rural road development project funded by ADB a new road was constructed through a secondary forest in the Galle district, which resulted in removing 26 valuable trees.

A similar road construction was undertaken by the Samurdhi Authority of Sri Lanka, through another portion of the same forest was stopped with the intervention of Police and people in the village.

A rural electrification project with the help of ADB was initially planned through a forest in southern Sri Lanka. If it was implemented a large number of valuable trees could have been removed from the forest. But the environment authority intervened and diverted the cause of the line to an alternative route rescuing the part of the valuable forest.

Legal action against encroaches

Mean while environmentalists in Sri Lanka are accusing several people, who are actively engage in clearing the protected forest within the Ruhunu National Park, Sri Lanka. According to the information of The Nations, local news portal, as much as 20,000 acres have been cleared so far and surprisingly the Department of Forest Conservation (DFC) is not taking any action against it.

The areas encroached so far are located in Niyadella, Demodara, Upaliya, Kaludiyaella, Thenagallanda, Bopitiya, Ethimale, and Kotiyagala areas. Land cleared believed to be in very high value since its proximity to Buttala international air port due to complete in November 2012. Cleared land is in the Buttala Divisional Secretariat in the Monaragala District .According to the Environment Conservation Trust, cleared area is divided into separate blocks of 10 to 300 acres. Cleared areas are already being used in gem mining and Chena cultivation according to The Nations.


Wildlife Holidays in Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka Jackal

Jackal is one of the most seen animals of Sri Lanka due to its wide distribution. Jackal is a mammalian carnivore, whose intelligence, resourcefulness and cunning has been a part of indigenous folklore. A single species of jackal inhabits the island Sri Lanka, it is the most common jackal of Asia (Canis aureus) also known as the golden jackal in Africa. Jackal is the only wild member of the dog family (Canidae) Animals in Sri Lanka. Jackal is found in both dry and wet zones in the island.

Not unlike village dogs at the first glance, the jackal’s bushy tail and yelping howl is distinctive. However the jackal’s brindled coat of brown, black and gray shows considerable variation between individuals of even a single population.

As destroyers of maimed, weak and sick animals, jackals play an vital role within the Eco-systems, by “pruning” herbivore populations. As scavengers they are also an important part of the “clean up crew” at any carcass, whatever the animal or cause of death. Thereby they perform a vital function, preventing the incubation and spread of disease from large rotting carcasses. However, jackals are skilled hunters who hunt healthy prey successfully.

Jackal often hunts in pairs where one animal lies ambush while the other chases the prey animal towards it. Jackal pairs are known to mate for life, and are most often seen together.

The jackal has a wide distribution from Africa to Asia. In village areas jackals come into conflict with humans when they attack the young of goats and sheep and prey on poultry.

In their natural habitat, however, jackals prey on a wide variety of small mammals and birds, including field mice, hare, young axis deer, mouse deer and ground nesting birds such as jungle fowl and pea fowl. Jackals also eat variety of reptiles, insects, bird’s eggs and even fruits. They are often on the move, constantly on the look out for opportunities.

In areas with healthy leopard population such as Yala and Wilpattu, jackals profit by the large number of kills made by leopard for scavenging. However, this is done with extreme caution as leopards will not tolerate the scavenging of their kills by jackals.

Female jackals give birth to 5 – 6 pups after a gestation period of 60 – 63 days; as many as 9 pups in a single litter have been recorded. However, several pups from each litter do not survive to adulthood. Pups are brought up on their mother’s milk from birth; they are weaned and transferred to meat when they are between 8 and 10 week old.

In Sri Lanka there is a healthy population of jackal. However conflict with humans and dogs are on the increase. Jackals fall victim to snares intended for other wild animals, and are directly persecuted by farmers defending livestock. In addition, they also become the targeted victim of poisoned cattle carcasses meant for leopards.


The importance of the rainforest

The future survival of fauna and floral populations is critically threatened in many places due to habitat loss. Rainforest patches that remains in the world are being cleared and fragmented due to various human activities. From biological point of view this is catastrophic, as for the future survival of species, genetic cross breeding is essential. Free passage for many smaller animals is constructed due to the absence of suitable habitats in between these patches of forests. Therefore with the passage of time and with respect to their proportions many of these ecosystems together with their rich bio diversity would become extinct.

The importance of rainforests is largely forgotten for the world in front of the economic development competition and the World is losing the rain forests at an alarming rate. If the deforestation continues for another 40 years at the same rate as today, it will be the end of rain forests of the world. Primeval rain forests are evolved for millions of years and become a highly complex in environment, bio-diversity and species-diversity.


Sri Lanka – Sun, Sea and Nature Holidays

Sri Lanka – Sun, Sea and Nature Holidays

Sri Lanka is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. It is located near the southern tip of the Indian sub-continent. This island is surrounded by Indian Ocean. This island was known as “Ceylon” in the past but the official name of the country was changed to “Sri Lanka” since 1972.  Colombo is the most popular city in the country but it is not the capital of the island. Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the capital of Sri Lanka. Sri Lank is known as an attractive beach holiday destination since 1800’s. Hikkaduwa in southern Sri Lanka had been an important spot for beach holidays in the early days of tourism and still it is a major spot among the people, who make holiday in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has countless coves, bays, and pristine beaches that are very suitable for an enjoyable beach holiday. The beaches around the country enable you to enjoy the sun, sea and sand at its maximum.

Major reason for Sri Lanka’s popularity as a holiday destination is the pleasant tropical climate. Sri Lanka has no winter season. You get here only summer. The temperature here is between 28 and 33 degrees throughout the year. The water temperature is 27 degrees at any time of the year. So the water temperature is ideal for sea bath, and all other water sports. About 25% of the island is covered by the thick green canopy. It has some of the most valuable rain forests in the world such as Sinharaja. The forested areas of the island have a great stock of fauna and flora. The bio-diversity in the country is one of the highest in the world. Therefore Sri Lanka is an ideal place for nature holidays such as rain forest exploration and bird watching.

Sinharaja is the most ancient rain forest in the country dating back to millions of year. By far Sinharaja is the most popular destination for rain forest exploration in the island. After Sinharaja, it is Horton plains, one of the last remaining montane forests in the country, Knuckles, KDN, and Hiyare are in the list of places for forest exploration.