Sri Lanka Wildlife tours

Even though Sri Lanka is not a big country and differs in many ways from African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, Sri Lanka offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts. Sri Lanka wildlife tours showcase a wide range of wildlife for its visitors. Sri Lankan wildlife collection is rich and vivid, it includes leopards, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, wild buffalo, deer, jackals and many other animal species with a large number of birds, amphibians, insects and vertebrates.

In February 2023, the prestigious Forbes magazine proclaimed Sri Lanka as having the Top Wildlife Safaris Outside of Africa for the year 2023. The magazine further elaborates on this wildlife holiday destination like this, “The nation has one of the planet’s densest populations of leopards and is arguably the best place to reliably see these magnificent cats, even more so than most of Africa. There are also Asian elephants, peacocks, water buffalo, monkeys, and sloth bears,” it said.

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Sri Lanka wildlife tours

Even though Sri Lanka is not a big country and differs in many ways from African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, Sri Lanka offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts. Sri Lanka wildlife tours showcase a wide range of wildlife for its visitors. Sri Lankan wildlife collection is rich and vivid, it includes leopards, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, wild buffalo, deer, jackals and many other animal species with a large number of birds, amphibians, insects and vertebrates.

The chances of seeing big herds of animal-like in African wildlife tours are might rare on the island. But Sri Lankan national parks are ranked among the best places to witness wild animals such as leopards and elephants.

Recently conducted a survey on wild elephants revealed that Sri Lanka has the highest number of wild elephants in the region. Unlike many national parks, you will be able to witness many numbers of wild animals within a one-hour safari in Sri Lanka, Due to the large concentration of animals within a small geographical area.

The gecko is one of the most popular in-house creatures on the island. These are small, nocturnal and often highly vocal lizards. They can easily walk in the upright direction on the walls with their adhesive feet. Geckoes are harmless to humans and they prey on mosquitoes. They have very bright skin and are about 5-15 cm long. They mainly prey on insects and can be very loud sometimes with a noise similar to “Tschiktschik”.

Hotel gardens, parks and forests are often inhabited by many species of primates. Most of the primates in Sri Lanka are from the species of languor. And also macaques can be seen very often in Sri Lanka. Macaques are smaller in size compared to most primates. They are smaller in size, and dark yellow; macaques are aggressive compared to other primates, so it is advisable to keep a distance from them.

What are the 5 best places for Sri Lanka wildlife tours?

  • Yala national park – 306 km from Colombo
  • Udawalawe national park – 179 km from Colombo
  • Wilpattu national park 170 km from Colombo
  • Minneriya / Kaudulla- 190 km from Colombo
  • Bundala national park – 263 km from Colombo

Sri Lanka is home to many dozens of wildlife reserves. They are mainly established for the benefit of wild animals. Some of these national parks are being used extensively for Sri Lanka wildlife tours. The five wildlife reserves mentioned above are the most popular wildlife tours in Sri Lanka. However, most national parks such as Maduru Oya national park and Somawathiya national park are not popular for wildlife holidays due to many reasons such as difficulty to reach as they are located far from tourist resorts and unavailability of facilities such as accommodation safari jeeps.

What are the top 5 Sri Lanka wildlife tours?

1. Sri Lanka wildlife tours to Yala

With the recent upgrade to Sri Lanka’s infrastructure, visiting tourist destinations on the island has become very easy and faster. Nestled in the deep south of Sri Lanka, this national park was out of reach on a one-day trip in the past. However, now it has become a tourist attraction with easy access thanks to the southern highway.

In the past, Yala was a place to visit on a Sri Lanka two days trip due to the time takes to travel to Yala from Colombo (the 12 best places to visit in Sri Lanka in 2 days). However, Yala has become one of the top 5 wildlife reserves to visit in Sri Lanka. The national park sits on the southern tip of Sri Lanka and it has not been possible to visit it within one day from Colombo in the past. However, with the newly constructed southern expressway, now Yala is a wildlife reserve to visit in Sri Lanka within one day.

2. Sri Lanka wildlife tours to Udawalawe

Udawalawe is one of the top wildlife reserves to visit in Sri Lanka within one day from Colombo and west coast beach resorts. Udawalawe is quite small compared to most other wildlife reserves, but Udawalawe is one of the best places for wild elephants.

3. Sri Lanka wildlife tours of Minneriya national park

Minneriya national park is popular as a place to spot large herds of wild elephants. Minneriya lake and surrounding grasslands attract a large number of wild elephants. The large gathering of wild elephants, numbering hundreds, is a very common sight here. Minneriya has tucked away 190 km from Colombo, therefore it is not a wildlife reserve to visit in Sri Lanka within one day if you stay in Colombo. However, Minneriya is located within the cultural triangle and therefore it is one of the best wildlife reserves to visit in Sri Lanka within one day if you undertake a trip to the cultural triangle.

4. Sri Lanka wildlife tours to see whales off Mirissa

Whale watching is a very popular activity among travellers in Sri Lanka. The island has become a whale-watching hot spot in the region over the last few years due to the abundance of blue whales off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Watching whales on a boat trip is a popular activity and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island today. There are daily whale watching tours organized by local tour operators such as Seerendipity tours and most of them start in Colombo and other west coast beach resorts.

5. Sri Lanka wildlife tours in the Sinharaja rainforest

Sri Lanka is heaven for bird watchers. The island harbours more than 200 species of avian fauna species and more than 2 dozens of them are endemic to the island. Lowland rain forests such as Sinharaja and Kanneliya are the best places for bird watching in Sri Lanka. Sinharaja is a super biodiversity hotspot and a top wildlife reserve to visit on a Sri Lanka day trip or as a part of the Sri Lanka round tour. The rainforest is conveniently located near the west coast and it takes only 3 hours to reach from Colombo and west coast beaches.


  • Leopard
  • Elephant
  • Crocodile
  • Sloth Bear
  • Deer
  • Jackal
  • Wild boar
  • Wild buffaloe
  • Monkey
  • Land monitor
  • Bird species
  • Mongoose
  • Amphibians
  • Black Leopards

Due to the high concentration of fauna and flora within the small geographical area, Sri Lanka’s recognized as one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. The travellers can witness a wide range of animal species on their Sri Lanka wildlife tours:

Animal species that can be witnessed on Sri Lanka wildlife tours

  • 97 species of terrestrial mammals (including elephants, leopards, sloth bears and the critically endangered pangolins)
  • 29 species of marine mammals (28 species of cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises – and one species of dugong)
  • At least 31 species of bats
  • 492 species of birds (inclusive of 33 identified endemics)
  • Approximately 11,144 species of insects (inclusive of 245 species of butterflies and 130 known species of dragonflies)
  • 387 species of spiders (of which 275 are endemics)
  • Over 120 species of amphibians (of which 90 are endemics)
  • 95 species of freshwater fish
  • 70 species of known trees
  • 3,210 flowering plants
  • over 100 waterfalls,
  • 103 natural river basins
  • 501 protected areas

Elephants, most seeing wild animals in Sri Lanka wildlife tours

The elephant is the biggest animal on the island. You encounter them not only in national parks but also in some populated dry zone areas. For instance, along with the highway between Polonnaruwa and Habarana.

About 150 elephants are tamed and trained to perform various activities. Today, they are mainly used in religious activities and traditional events. Elephants are not employed to do tedious and difficult tasks such as carrying heavy logs in the jungles anymore.

With more than 5800 wild elephants in the jungle, Sri Lanka has the highest number of wild elephants in Asia. The Esala ceremony is participated by a large number of beautifully dressed elephants and an elephant is entrusted to carry the most sacred element for Buddhists namely Dalada or Tooth relic around the city of Kandy.

Mongooses are encountered very often on the island. They are very shy and hide in a flash upon encountering a human. They usually prey on snakes, birds, bird eggs, and insects. Monitor lizards are also can be spotted very often by the side of roads.

Leopard, the biggest carnivore in Sri Lankan jungles

The leopard of Sri Lanka (panthera pardus kotiy) is the biggest carnivore in the jungles of Sri Lanka. however, the leopard is the most difficult to see on Sri Lanka wildlife tours. Other than the leopards, three other species of wild cats in Sri Lanka are the fishing cat, the jungle cat and the rusty-spotted cat. All these three species of cats are smaller than the leopards, but they have a similar lifestyle to leopards, prominently meat-eaters. These cats belong to the order of carnivores and the family is Felidae.

Even though the national park of Yala ranks among one of the best places to witness leopards, it can be difficult to take them with your camera. Being very shy it is not easy to spot them in the jungle. The Sri Lankan leopard differs in many ways from the other big cats in the world. Leopards are the most fearful and biggest carnivores on the island. Sri Lanka leopard (panthera pardus kotiy) is a sub-species of common leopard and they are endemic to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan leopards are bigger than their other counterpart to be seen on the African continent. Wilpattu and Yala are the most popular national parks to see leopards.

Seeing fishing cat (Felis vierina) on Sri Lanka Wildlife tours

The fishing cat is a medium-sized animal which measured about one meter in length and it has a tail which is around another 30cm in length. A well-grown fishing cat weighs between 11 to 15 kg. Their body size is similar to the size of the average village dog.

The animal is brownish-grey in colour and has a coat made of short fur. Like in cats, several stripes run from the forehead to the neck of the animal. There are two horizontal stripes on the pale colour cheek. Black spots can be seen along the length of the body in several rows. There are no marks on the legs but there are some rings on the tail.

As the name suggests it largely depends on aquatic animals for its food. Fishing cats mainly live in areas where the water is plenty, such as marshlands, riverine, reed beds, mangroves, and tidal creeks. They are rarely seen away from the water.

The fishing cat shows a wide distribution in many parts of Asia and South East Asia regions. They are good hunters and capable of killing dogs, goats and sometimes bigger animals. They are a reputable fish hunter; it sits on the river banks or a rock close to the water and hooks the fish that come to the surface, using their paws. They are very deft in swimming and catch the fish with their jaws with a short plunge.

The jungle cat (Felis chaus)

The jungle cat is considered a small to medium-sized cat weighing between five to six kilograms. It is almost one meter in length from the nose to the tail. Even though their body shape is similar to domestic cats they are taller than domestic cats due to their long legs. One unique feature of the cat is its relatively short tail compared to its body length.

The Colour can be described as reddish-brown to yellowish-grey. The tail has black rings towards the end of the tail while there are dark horizontal stripes on the leg. They occur in many parts of the world; from Egypt through the Middle East, and South Asia to South East Asia. Their usual habitat is mainly confined to drier areas. The jungle cat depends on small animals and birds to fulfil its dietary requirement. They are known to attack poultry in the villagers on some occasions.

The Rusty-spotted cat (Felis rubignosa)

The Rusty-spotted cat is a small animal and it is the smallest wild cat in the world. It weighs barely 2 kilograms and it is half a meter in length. It has a grey-brown coat with rust-coloured spots with several stripes along with the head and across the cheek. It mainly preys on small reptiles, rodents, roosting birds and ground-nesting birds. They show a wide distribution in India and Sri Lanka. They are occurring throughout Sri Lanka.

Leopards are considered the main threat to these lesser cats in the jungle. Even though there are no direct completions between these cats and the leopard for resources, there is an ever-present danger to these species from the leopard. Destruction of living habitats through deforestation is considered a serious threat to the survival of these cats.

Mouse deer (Trangulus meminna)

One of the alternative names for the Mouse deer is known as chevrotain and it is commonly known as Meeminna in the Sinhalese language. The Sinhalese name has contributed to its scientific nomenclature.

The mouse deer is a small animal which grows a maximum of thirty centimetres in height. Larger animal of this genus is found in several South-East Asian countries, but still, they are comparatively smaller than the average deer. This is a species of deer without antlers; greatly elongated canine teeth are substituting the antler.

Caning teeth are used for defence and fighting and they are called ‘tusks’. The tusks of males are larger than the tusks of females and protrude below the upper lip. The smaller size of its body causes them to be killed often by village dogs and house cats.

Mouse deer are to be found low down of the food chain and their best defence is concealment. Mouse deer have a pattern of beige stripes on their coats. They have spots in the areas of darker buff backgrounds, which helps them to camouflage.

Mouse deer is an animal seen very rarely in the jungle owing to its secretive living style. They remain hidden in the jungle most of the time. Mouse deer is an animal with a wide distribution on the island covering all the major climate zones (dry zone and wet zone). Sometimes they can be seen in the suburbs such as in Colombo. But owing their secretive habits prevent them from being noticed.

Barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak)

This species of deer is known as muntjac, and it is found in all parts of South and East Asian countries.  Baking deer show a much larger geographical distribution within the South and East Asian countries than most of the deer species in the world. Barking deer can be divided into several subspecies and races. Usually, it is small in body size and as big as the average village dog, It has reddish-brown fur and it is not similar to any other animal in the country.  

It is mostly found in wooded habitats. The antler of the barking deer is short and it has two tines and two prominent can be witnessed below the facial skin of the deer. The name muntjac is derived from its call, which is similar to bark and very loud sometimes it is the very louder call for an animal of its size. They usually live individually; pairs are also can be seen sometimes and occasional small family groups. Barking deer is timid, the best places to witness them in Sri Lanka are Wilpattu and Wasgamuwa National Parks.

Wilpattu national park is considered to be one of the best places to see wildlife such as barking deer owing to its abundance in the park. Wilpattu national park was closed for 18 years during the civil war in the country and today it is open to the general public.

Some of the other deer species in Wilpattu national park such as the Axis deer and Sambar population have been reduced at an alarming rate during the same period.

It is believed that illegal hunting had been the reason for the reduction of some animals and some of the animal population is increased, while they are not targeted by the hunters. The living habitats of Barking deer and Axis deer show distinct ecological differences and they occupy different ecological niches.

There is no competition for food between Axis deer and bark deer since they are living in different ecological niches. The population reduction of Sambar in the Yala national park, however, is believed to be a benefit for the barking deer.

Hog deer (Cervus porcinus)

Hog deer is one of the rarely seen animals on the island today. It is called Hog deer owing to its hog-like, stout body shape. Even though the Hog deer looks very different from the Axis deer it is closely related to the Axis deer. The antlers of the Hog deer are straight and relatively small. Its antler consists of three tines or branches and they have renewed annually. Their favourite living habitats consist of marshy surroundings, short-grass plains and grassy riverbanks.

Hog deer are also can be seen in solitary or in small groups. They could be seen often in southern Sri Lanka from Bentota to Koggala. In India, they mostly occurred in Sind through Punjab and Assam and spread eastward into Myanmar.

Even though they are not seen in the Indian sub-continent, hog deer are mysteriously still available in Sri Lanka. It is believed this species of deer were introduced during the Portuguese or Dutch period. Losing the natural habitat is the main challenge for the existence of Hog deer and they are population had been reduced to an alarming level by today.

Sambar (Cervus unicolor)

The larger body size of Sambar makes them the third largest mammal on the island after elephants and buffalo and easy to spot during the Sri Lanka wildlife tours. Several sub-species of Sambar are occurred in throughout the Asian range, from India to the Philippines. The body size of Sambar largely varied across different countries.

Sri Lankan Sambar is considered to be comparatively larger than other specimens. Today the distribution of Sambar is limited to some parts of the country, even though once they had a wide distribution on the island.

Sambar is restricted to wet zone mountain forests today and it is difficult to see them outside the dry zone protected areas. Illegal hunting and habitat loss are considered the main challenge to the survival of sambar. Only the stags carry antlers, which grow in the second year of life and the antler is renewed every year.

Horton Plains national park in the central province is considered being one of the best places to witness this animal. Wilpattu, Yala, Kumana and Knuckles ranges are also considered to have a considerable number of Sambar. The only natural enemy of Sambar is the leopard, and they have become an important prey for leopards, especially in the mountainous areas.

The number of sloth bears in the jungles of Sri Lanka is drastically reduced in the last several decades. Still, several sloth bears can be seen in wild-life parks such as Yala. They usually hang around the termite mounds after the shower.

Civets of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is inhabited by three species of civets namely the Ceylon small civet (Viverricula indica mayori) commonly known as the ring-tailed civet, the common Indian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites hermaphroditus) and the Golden palm civet (Paradoxurus zeylonensis).

All these members are belonging to the Family of Viverridae commonly seen as mongooses. They can be described as nocturnal omnivores often seen at night. Especially the claws of these members are well adapted to the environment where they live.

Sharp, curved, fully-retractable claws enable them for being good climbers. Same time hairless foot pads are used for a firm grip during climbing. So they heavily rely on the foot for hunting and protection.

But Ceylon small civet is mostly seen on the ground, small patches of fern or grass are the cushion they like most for relaxing. They make their nest in a hollowed-out cavity underneath a tree trunk or a rock, usually, they give birth to 3-5 small litter. The animal of this family can be seen in every corner of the country. One species or another can be witnessed from the arid zone forest in Yala to Horton plains in the central mountain range.


Polecat is the most common among urban dwellers and they often occur in houses. People may find them bothersome due to their disturbing lifestyle in which they run on the rafters of the house and urinate through the panels of the ceiling. They have a bushy tail and it is about I meter in length from nose to tail-tip. The second species that is common among rural people is the Palm civet and they love to drink toddy (fermenting sap extracted from the coconut bud). They are commonly known as toddy cats and they are known to steal them from the buckets of the toddy tappers.

Palm cats

Palm cats play the most important part in kopi luwak production in coffee plantations in the Indonesian archipelagos and the Philippines.  They devour ripe coffee berries, passing the beans undamaged through their digestive system and depositing them in faecal latrines (as many must lid, civets deposit their faeces in particular central locations of their range). People gather these beans and make kopi luwak (kopi means coffee and Luwak denotes civet cat). Kopi luwak is one of the most expensive coffee varieties due to its rarity; it may cost as much as 500 dollars per pound.

Kopi luwak is considered to be more suitable for drinking than average coffee varieties. It is scientifically revealed that enzymes and acids of the digestive system of civets make changes to the compounds, flavour and colour of the beans. Even after this process, it contains fewer bacteria than the coffee made after the traditional method.

The Golden palm civet

The Golden palm civet is the endemic civet species living in the country. They hide during the day and live high in a tree under the canopy. Ceylon small civet is the most carnivorous in the group. They are mainly fed on fruits and berries while small mammals, birds, eggs, lizards, and frogs are also eaten when they have an opportunity. They can be seen in several colours from bright gold to a deeper reddish-gold bordering on russet and is free of markings. This species mainly live on trees with occasional activities on the ground.

The scent secretion of civets has made them a Sri Lanka wildlife that has commercial significance, they are special for the perfume industry. It is being used as a stabilizing agent for fragrances. The yellowish liquid that is known as ‘civet musk’ is produced by the glands of the animal that are located near the animal’s genitals. Historical evidence suggests that this precious oil had been used even during the time of King Solomon in the 10th Century BC. Today a synthetic chemical has been used as an alternative to the civet musk.

The civet is another member of our valuable fauna world that comprised a large number of animals. Fortunately, Civets are still not classified as threatened or endangered animal species on the island. Civet sightings are recorded in great numbers due to their sizeable population in the country.


There are four species of non-human primates included in Sri Lanka’s wildlife. They are divided into three species of monkeys – the toque monkey, Grey Langur, Purple Faced langur and one prosimian – the Slender Loris. The primates show a wide distribution and their habitat is ranging from the arid plains of the South-East, across the expansive tract of dry zone scrub jungle, and up into the verdant hills of the central massif, however, the slender loris sighting is very rare during the Sri Lanka wildlife tours.

It takes no more than a cursory glance at a group of macaques – sub-adult males having a rumble in the branches, mothers scolding shrieking infants, and adult males scanning the treetops for signs of danger – for the notion of such a shared history to be reinforced.

The dull brown to brownish Red Toque Macaque is the prototypical monkey – gregarious, acrobatic and cheeky. Like tiny people that delight in making mischief, these charismatic animals have become embedded in the popular imagination. The term to ‘monkey around,’ with its implication of carefree, essentially pointless Endeavour, might seem tailor-made for a group of macaques at play. There is, however, more to life than the pursuit of leisure and more to macaque society than our light-hearted imaginings tend to confer.

The society is constructed upon a matrilineal hierarchy, so while it is the males with their exaggerated canines and swaggering gait that appear to sit atop the macaque roost, it is the stable corps of related females that are the de facto leaders.

Female macaques remain in their natal troop for the duration of their lives so the relationships that they forge with other females are of tremendous importance to their success within the framework of the tribe. This framework encompasses a complex ranking arrangement, similar in function to the Hindu caste system, whereby high-ranking mothers produce high-ranking offspring by default.

Male macaques are more able to determine their destinies as they leave their natal troops at around 4-6 years of age and must learn to play on their strength and character. Often young males with the band together to form bachelor troops, in which they hone their social and physical skills before striking out alone to join existing troops.

A male born to a high-ranking matriline will have certain advantages during his formative years – such as better and more plentiful food resources, and increased acceptance of unruly behaviour by the troops – which will often hold him in good stead for the uncertainties of the future.

Macaques are omnivorous with a wide-ranging diet that includes seeds, grasses, leaf shoots, fruits, flowers, mushrooms, insects, lizards even bird eggs. Where troops live in proximity to human settlements, this diet takes in paddy, coconut and other food crops. Furthermore, the monkeys are not averse to raiding houses to burgle cooked food, flour and whatever else strikes their fancy.

Being territorial, a tremendous amount of energy is focused on the maintenance of boundaries and it follows that the most powerful troops are usually also the largest, inhabiting prime areas inclusive of abundant fruiting trees or similar food sources. Aggressive interactions between troops are common, particularly during periods of scarcity. In these exchanges the adult and sub-adult males come to the fore, full of chattering bravado and belligerent attitude.

Several, most other common animals in the jungles of Sri Lanka are wild boar, jackal, crocodile, buffalo, monkey and deer.

Snakes such as cobras and pythons can be seen often in places with tourist attractions. Snake charmers showcase these snakes and demand money when tourists take photos. It is very rare to spot snakes in their natural habitat. There are more than 90 species of snakes on the island, but only a few of them are deadly poisonous.

Endangered Sri Lanka wildlife – Sea turtle

Sea turtles are occurring in the coastal belt of Sri Lanka from Kosgoda to southern Sri Lanka. They usually reach the shores of the island at night and lay eggs on the beach. Therefore it may be difficult to spot them. As an alternative one can visit a sea turtle farm located on the west coast of Sri Lanka. There are several such places allowing visitors to see them.

Exotic fish species

The waters around the island have a fascinating underwater world. It is inhabited by more than 850 exotic fish species and many coral species. Sri Lanka attracts a large number of visitors due to these underwater resources.

Avian fauna species of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an ideal holiday destination for bird lovers. There are more than 200 bird species in the country. Out of which 25 species are endemic to the island. Sri Lanka is visited by a large number of migrating birds, especially during the winter season of the northern hemisphere.

Sri Lankan amphibian

Most amphibian species of Sri Lanka are endemic to the island. Sri Lanka is a haven for wildlife with the discovery of more than 100 species of new frogs. Most of the frogs are discovered in the island’s rainforests.

Sinharaja rainforest claims most of the new species recorded recently. According to the researchers, with the discovery of new species, the Island Sri Lanka with a land area of just 65610 km² become an amphibian hotspot of the world.

The number of amphibian species has recorded a significant reduction since the 1950s mainly owing to habitat loss while some other human activities have also adversely affected the existence of amphibians. Even with various researchers on the species of amphibians especially since the 1980s, scientists have not been able to ascertain the clear factors affecting the existence of amphibians so far.

Sri Lanka an amphibian Bio-diversity hotspot

Sri Lankan biologists have been able to discover a few new species of amphibians in Sri Lanka rain forests. With the discovery of new species, Sri Lanka has been able to earn the status of an amphibian Bio-diversity hotspot. Sri Lanka stays ahead of other tropical islands such as Madagascar, Borneo and New Guinea which are far larger than Sri Lanka, yet possess an equal number of frog species.

The research was conducted by a team of scientists from Sri Lanka, Belgium and America. Primarily the survey was conducted on the disappearing wildlife in Sri Lanka. Scientists have further talked about the preservation of the valuable remaining green cover on the island.

Deforestation has been identified as the main reason for reducing forests on the island. The forest cover that was as much as 60% of the total land area of the country at the beginning of the 1900s is reduced to 24% at present. The devastation of forests started during the colonial period and continues until today. Sri Lanka is identified as one of the most significant biological hot spots in the world.

Rediscovery of species believed to be extinct

Researchers have discovered that most of the species recorded from 19th-century museum collections appeared to have disappeared. Most frogs discovered by scientists are “direct developers” that hatch as small animals without the step of a tadpole. The other group of frogs discovered in the research comprised only five species. They are laying eggs in rocks, branches or leaves with a form nest as usual in a wet environment.

Research on Sri Lankan amphibians

The research team was led by Madhava Meegaskumbura, from the University of Boston in Massachusetts, US. Madhava Meegaskumbura has noted the disappearances of some of the old species in the past. He further added that it is a surprise to encounter such a large number of new species after extensive damage to the rainforests on the island. The number of amphibian species (toads, frogs, salamanders and frogs) in the world is estimated to be around 5,000. The species of amphibians are mostly semi-aquatic, they can be found in a wide range of habitats from forests and wetlands to deserts and savannas.

Deforestation and poaching

Modernization, expansion of settlement and poaching is exerting pressure on the Sri Lanka government to strengthen its commitment to protecting wild animals. Sri Lanka is home to several dozens of wildlife reserves and sanctuaries and most of them are been used by travellers for Sri Lanka wildlife tours. Leopards and bears are residing in more than 10 wildlife reserves, Yala national park and Wilpattu national parks are the main residences of bears and leopards. The number of leopards on the island was many hundreds at the beginning of the 18s. The number of leopards drastically reduced mainly due to habitat loss and poaching under British rule.

Wildlife reserves and sanctuaries are under the purview of wildlife authorities and protected under government law and travellers need to get permission to enter the national parks on Sri Lanka wildlife tours. But still illegal poaching takes place and animals like leopards are still being killed in the jungle. Many hundreds of leopards were residing in Sri Lanka’s national parks in the past. The number of Sri Lankan leopards was exceeding many hundreds in the past. however, the leopard population has now been reduced to many dozens- the number of leopards is on the rise for the last several years due to the conservation effort.