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Sinharaja Rain Forest Short Essay Length

Location of Sinharaja Rain Forest in Sri Lanka

Sinharaja Rain Forest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the last viable remnant of Sri Lanka’s tropical lowland rainforest spanning an area of 18900 acres is located within Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces of the south-west lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. Sinharaja is bounded by rivers on three sides. On the north, Sinharaja is bounded by the Napola Dola and Koskulana Ganga. On the south and south-west are the rivers Maha Dola and Gin Ganga. On the west are the river Kalukandawa Ela and river Kudawa Ganga. To the east of Sinharaja is an ancient footpath near Beverley Tea Estate and by the Denuwa Kanda.
6°21′-6°26’N, 80°21′-80°34’E.

Reaching Sinharaja Rain Forest

From Northern or western parts of the country you can reach Sinharaja Forest Reserve via Ratnapura, Kiriella, Kalawana, Weddala. From the South you can enter Sinharaja Rain Forest from Deniya. Coming form Hambantota, Udawalawe you can enter Sinharaja from Rakwana side.

Area of Sinharaja Rain Forest

The total area of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is 18,900 acres or 7,648 hectares. It ranges in altitude from 300m to 1,170m.

Significance of Sinharaja Forest

Sinharaja Forest reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians.

Establishment of Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Most of the area of Sinharaha forest was originally declared a forest reserve under the Waste Lands Ordinance in 1875. In 1978, Sinharaja Rain Forest was included in the international network of biosphere reserves, established and maintained as part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program. In October 1988, this reserve, together with a northeastern extension of it, was declared Sri Lanka’s first National Wilderness Heritage Area. In December 1988, the Sinharaja Biosphere Reserve became Sri Lanka’s first natural site to be added to UNESCO World Heritage list.

Climate of Sinharaja Rain Forest

Meteorological records gathered from in and around Sinharaja over the last 60 years reveal the annual rainfall of Sinharaja Forest has ranged between 3614mm to 5006mm and temperatures from 19°C to 34°C. The high rainfall is owing to two monsoons: south-west monsoons during May-July and the north-east monsoons during November-January.

Physical features

Sinharaja Rain Forest is a narrow strip of undulating terrain consists of a series of ridges and valleys drained by an intricate network of streams, which flow into the Gin Ganga on the southern boundary and Kalu Ganga, via the Napola Dola, Koskulana Ganga and Kudawa Ganga, on the northern boundary.

Nature trails of Sinharaja Rain Forest

The two main nature trails of Sinharaja Rain Forest are those lead to the peak of Moulawella and the peak of Sinhagala. Both of these nature trails begins at Kudawa Conservation Centre (KCC) are equally enjoyable and enlightening. The forest is densly crowded with tall trees growing in close proximity, but winding trails make the trekking. Small streams of crystal-clear cool water, that is home to a variety of fish, toads and crabs, crisscross the trails. And the mixed species of birds are seen in the canopy of woods.

Sinhagala Nature Trail

Trail head: Entrance to the protected area, Kudawa Conservation Centre, Weddagala, Kalawana
Trail end: Sinhagala Peak
Length of the trail: 2.4 km
Rise in elevation gain along the trail: 300m at Trail Head: 473m at Trail End
Approximate time: 5-7 hours
Hiking Season: Best months are December to April

Mulawella Nature Trail

Trail head: Entrance to the protected area, Kudawa Conservation Centre, Weddagala, Kalawana
Trail end: Mulawella Peak
Length of the trail: 2.4 km
Rise in elevation along the trail: 457m at Trail Head to 758m at Trail End
Approximate time: 1-2 hours
Hiking Season: Best months are December to April

Birdlife in Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja Rain Forest is home to numerous indigenous birds such asthe Ceylon Hanging Parrot (Loriculus beryllinus), the Ceylon Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis), the Ashy-headed Laughing Thrush (Garrulax cinereifrons), Layard’s parakeet (Psittacula calthripae), the Jungle fowl (Gallus lafayetii ), the Spur fowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata), the Ceylon Wood Pigeon (Columba torringtonii), the Brown- capped Babbler (Pellorneum fuscocapillum), the Red-faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus) and the Ceylon Blue Magpie (Urocissa ornate) among others, are prominent in this area.

19 of Sri Lanka’s 20 species of endemic bird species in Sri Lanka are found in the Sinharaja Reserve
Among the endangered birds are Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Green-Billed Coucal, Sri Lankan white-headed starling, Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Caucal, Sri Lanka Spur fowl Sri Lankan Blue Magpie, and Ashy-headed Babbler, all of which are endemic.

Mammals, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies

Out of 12 endemic mammal species of the country 8 are found here. Giant squirrel, dusky-stripped jungle squirrel, badger mongoose and endemic purple-faced leaf monkey and torque macaque are frequently seen.

Many threatened species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies are found in the Reserve including the leopard. Endemism among mammals and butterflies is greater than 50%. Reptiles and amphibia include python, endemic green pit viper, endemic hump nosed lizard (Lyriocephalus scutatus) and and rough-nose horned lizard (Ceratophora aspera).

Conservation Value Sinharaja

Conservation Value Sinharaja is the last extensive primary lowland tropical rain forest in Sri Lanka. It holds a large number of endemic species of plants and animals, and a variety of plants of known benefit to man. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the last viable remnant of Sri Lanka’s tropical lowland rain forest; over 60% of the trees are endemic and many of these are rare; and there are 21 endemic bird species, and a number of rare insects, reptiles and amphibians (IUCN Technical Evaluation).

The long-term success of conserving Sinharaja depends upon the sustainable development of its buffer and peripheral zones through a participatory approach emphasizing the involvement of local people. Construction of hotels on peripheral zones and constructions of roads over the protected areas are bound to result in irrecoverable damages to this world heritage site.

Map of Sinharaja Rain Forest

A – Kudawa Conservation Centre
B – Jeep track from Kudawa Conservation Centre to Kudawa Research Station
C – Mulawella peak
D – Kudawa Research Station
E – Gal Yen Yaya
F – Sinhagala Peak
G – Pitadenaya Conservation Centre
H – Pitadenaya Ticket Counter
I – Track from Mediripitiya to Pitadeniya Conservation Centre
J – Kohila Aramba
K – Kekuna Ella
L – Patan-oya Ella
M – Duwili Ella (Kosmulla)
N – Morningside Conservation Centre
O – Natural Pool
P – Duwili Ella (Morningside)

1 – Wathurawa-Mulawella
2 – From Kudawa Conservation Centre to Nawanda Tree
3 – From Sinhagala Trail to gal len yaya
4 – Sinhagala Trail from Kudawa
5 – Kohila Aamba Trail
6 – Kekuna Ella and Pata-oua Ella Trail
7 – Sinhagala Trail from Pitadeniya
8 – Duwili Ella Trail from Denuwakanda
9 – Duwili Ella Trail from MCC
10 – From Morningside to the natural pool
11 – Trail from Kosmulla via Duwili Ella to Siththara gal lena (cave)

Sinharaja Rain Forest Highlights

Sinharaja Rain Forest Sri Lanka

Mountain Peaks of Sinharaja Rain Forest

There are several mountain peaks in the eastern side of the Forest Reserve.

Hinipitigala Peak – 1,171 m
Dotugala Peak – 769 m
Mulawella Peak – 760 m
Kosgulana 797 m
Hinipitigala West 1170 m
Hinipitigala East 1168 m
Pathinigala 605 m
Sinhagala 742 m
Tibbotagala 904 m
Kohilarambe 757 m

Mountain Peaks of Sinharaja Rain Forest

Rivers of Sinharaja Rain Forest

Koskulana Ganga
Maha Ganga
Kudawa Ganga
Maha Dola
Pitakele Ganga
Gin Ganga
Gin Ganga
Napala Dola
Aranuwa Dola
Rivers of Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forestsecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Lion Kingdom.

The reserve is only 21 km (13 mi) from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km (4.3 mi) from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

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 15 or so[vague]leopards. The most common larger mammal is the endemic purple-faced langur.

Birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless SriLanka Crested 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 leeches.

Social Integration[edit]

The reserve is well-integrated with the local population that are living in some dozens of villages dotted along the border. The villages are more in number along the southern border whilst the presence of some large estates along the northern border has resulted in only a few villages there. The locals collect herbal medicine, edible fruits, nuts, mushrooms, other non-timber forest products including bees honey and a sugary sap collected from a local palm species of the genus Caryota. The sap is converted into jaggery, a local brew and vinegar. Local people walk in the forest to collect above items when they are not busy with their other agricultural pursuits. In addition, the crystal-clear water coming from dozens of streams is the main water source for all people living around the reserve. For generations, local people trekked through the forest from south to north to make their annual pilgrimage to the Adams Peak.


  • A waterfall in Sinharaja Rainforest

  • Vegetation of the Sinharaja

  • The high tree canopy in the reserve

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Sinharaja Forest Reserve[edit]

Sri Lanka and conservation[edit]

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