Sri Lanka’s tropical rainforest the “Kingdom of the Lion” situated in the south-west lowland wet zone, is a hotspot for bio diversity. Lying in the heart of Sri Lanka, it spans 11,187 hectares and 21 km wide over the districts of Galle, Matara and Ratnapura. . The rainforest is bordered by two rivers (Kalu Gange and Gin Ganga), and Hinipitiya being its highest peak rising up to about 1,150m. It is internationally recognized as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Subject to commercial logging in the 1970’s Singharaja was heading towards depletion. Hence it was put to a halt and designated a World Biopshere in 1978 and World Heritage Site in 1988.
This biologically unique stretch of virgin rainforest is a treasure trove of flora and fauna and famed for its rich endemism.
Flora : Over 66% of flowering trees are endemic, and 13 of 25 endemic ferns are found in the forest.
Fauna : It is recorded that 95% of endemic birds of Sri Lanka are found in Singharaja. According to a study done in Singharaja, it has the largest flock of individual mixed bird species in the world! A flock has an average of 42 individual birds. Some endemic birds found in Singharaja are; Red faced Malkoha, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Ashy-Headed Babbler and Green Billed Coucal.
Some animals, lizards, snakes and amphibians residing in the rainforest are;
Sambar, Purple Faced Leaf Monkey, Mousse Deer, Barking Deer, Green Garden Lizard, Green Pit Viper, Hump Nosed Viper, Torrent Toad, Wrinkled Frog and Sri Lanka Reed Frog .
Interesting trails and sights of Singharaja