Sri Lankan Wildlife Tours: Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve, northern coast of Sri Lanka

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Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve

Located on Sri Lanka’s northern coast, the Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve is home to some of the most significant blue carbon habitats. For this reason, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, the then-wildlife minister, gazetted it as a nature reserve in 2016. The Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve is home to all three of the blue carbon ecosystems, which store enormous amounts of carbon in their biomass and soil to help lessen the effects of climate change. Blue carbon ecosystems include mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass meadows. This essential ecosystem keeps many species alive, gives people a way of life, and keeps our shoreline safe.

The effect of Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve on the environment

“The effects on our ecosystem and the nearby populations would be catastrophic and far-reaching—extending beyond anything we could ever imagine—if even a small portion of the reserve was used for aquaculture.

“Vidattaltivu was a protected area that wasn’t declared haphazardly,” stated Prof. Sevvandi Jayakody, Chair and Professor of the University of Wayamba’s Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries.

How to protect Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve

Making sure that the uncontrolled development that occurred in the South shouldn’t happen to people in the North was one of the primary decisions made after the war. The Northern Strategic Environmental Assessment and Report was completed between 2014 and 2019. Every government agency, including the Department of Fisheries, the Ministry of Fisheries, NAQDA, NARA, DWC, etc., participated in the report’s creation. The evaluation was extremely thorough, and the report pinpointed areas that may be strategically improved for the good of the populace. Additionally, it identified regions that ought to be reserved for human habitation since they included significant amounts of natural capital that had been supporting human livelihoods. The places with the highest natural capital supported human populations and served as hotspots for biodiversity. The natural capital is found in biodiversity, and this report identified Vidattaltivu as one such region.

Map of Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve

Biodiversity of Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve

“On land, you find dry zone forests and shrub forests, then you start seeing some of the best salt marshes in the country, mud flats, and mangroves, and when you get into water, you see vast expanses of seagrass, and further into the sea, you start seeing coral reefs,” Prof. Jayakody explained, describing the region’s distinctive characteristics. This provides an ideal natural laboratory for researchers wishing to examine these ecosystems. The profound interconnectedness that exists between each of these ecosystems is another crucial component. For example, silt from the land moves toward the sea during the rainy season. It will fall in three parts: on mud flats, salt marshes, and mangroves once more. Whatever remains untrapped settles in seagrass and becomes sedimented there. However, calm, silt-free water is necessary for coral reefs, and the water that is left behind after sedimentation gets to the reefs. She continued, “For this reason, these ecosystems all regulate one another.

“These ecosystems also flourish in some of the most extreme conditions; they are twice submerged during high tide and have developed special defense mechanisms against exposure to direct sunlight.”To further illustrate the ecosystem services provided by Vidattaltivu, consider the entry of salinity-rich seawater into mangroves. The mangroves would then be able to break the energy it transmits. The remaining amount would seep into the soil, while salt marshes and mud flats would absorb it, preventing any additional seawater from entering the land. This region of the country would not have paddy fields that almost reach the coast if this ecosystem didn’t exist. Traveling from Mannar to Pooneryn, one might observe paddy fields adjacent to salt marshes. This is so that salt is prevented from moving farther inland by all of these habitats. Therefore, harm to one ecosystem would have a significant effect on the other.
“Therefore, following approval from all government agencies, this area was designated as a nature reserve,” she continued.

Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve as a blue-carbon ecosystems

“Salt marshes, seagrass beds, and mangroves are three blue-carbon ecosystems that are extensively networked in the Vidattaltivu environment. At a time when the effects of global warming are already being felt, it is widely acknowledged that these three ecosystems have the greatest capacity to store carbon. Blue carbon habitats are under intense pressure to be preserved and restored. A lot of money is being invested globally to rebuild these ecosystems. However, restorations take time to complete. Because they are our future bank guarantee against climate change, people around the world are advising you to safeguard blue carbon ecosystems at all costs, according to Prof. Jayakody.

She continued by saying that Sri Lanka promoted mangrove ecosystems and livelihoods within the Commonwealth under the Blue Charter. At the UN Environmental Assembly, Sri Lanka and the Indonesian government proposed a resolution discussing blue-carbon ecosystems and livelihoods. We were the recipients of the UN Mangrove Ecosystems and Restoration Flagship Award this year. As a result, we have established numerous precedents. Sri Lanka is one nation that has a national strategy in place to save mangrove habitats. We’ve accomplished so much, and we’ve received-praise.

Sri Lankan Wildlife Tours

Sri Lankan Wildlife Tours are becoming popular among travelers around the globe. In addition to witnessing the flora and fauna of Sri Lanka under clear skies, you’ll undoubtedly get to see all the wildlife and tropical birds you’ve never dreamed of seeing, including the well-known yet elusive leopard.

There are a tonne of exciting Sri Lanka wildlife safaris available, and the majority of them are great for families. In addition to experiencing our distinct, always-smiling blend of people and cultures, you will be able to view a lot of elephants and birds and take lots of pictures. This is just going to be a terrific moment for you!

Sri Lanka boasts an extensive network of national parks, nature reserves, safari lodges, and camps that span vast stretches of biodiverse terrain. These range from Yala National Park in the south to Willpattu National Park in the north, with numerous parks in between. There’s plenty of animals to observe and activities to enjoy. No, it’s not about hunting, which was outlawed around a century ago after large-scale western game hunters devastated the Sri Lankan elephant population. You are there to take in, get up close and personal with, and take pictures of Sri Lankan birds and wildlife in their native habitats. You’ll see some spectacular beauty as you travel across Sri Lanka on your safari vacation.

Whether you choose to stay and observe wildlife in your camp under a tree, reading a book and sipping a drink of your choice while waiting for them to appear, or taking a short walk to the best spots within the area under the guidance of our experts, exploring the jungles of Sri Lanka with camps set deep within the national parks, is still an undiscovered treasure. Tented safari camping is a great way to experience Sri Lanka’s natural beauty from one of the various locations offered by these kinds of wildlife safari camps. It’s better to enjoy Sri Lanka’s game reserves from a tent like this than toile away from a hotel! You can choose from a variety of tours or take advantage of one that is specially designed for you. We believe that one of these camps is the finest place to observe nature and all of its diversity, whether it is through bird watching, wildlife observation, or even just engaging with the native “Veddha’s.”

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