Sinharaja Forest Located in the southwest corner of Sri Lanka, 40km inland from the historic city of Galle, the Sinharaja rain forest straddles a series of mountains and ridges in the country’s wet zone, containing a number of streams, waterfalls and fresh-water springs which flow into the Gin Ganga (‘Ganga’ means ‘River’) on the southern boundary and Kalu Ganga to the north. The Sinharaja region has long played an important role in the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.
For folklorists, the name of the forest, which literally means ‘lion king’, suggests its significance as the primary home of the legendary lion of Sri Lanka. Other less romantic historians believe that the name refers to Sinharaja’s role as the ‘king-sized’ or ‘royal’ forest of the Sinhalese people, at a time when over 100,000 hectares of wet evergreen jungle covered the South Western hills and lowlands of Sri Lanka. Since that time, with much of the land having been cultivated by both colonial settlers and local inhabitants for tea estates and other forms of enterprise, the thin sliver of forest (21km long and 3.7km wide) that remains, is but a glimpse of its former glory.
Birds in Sinharaja
Sinharaja is the best location to see mixed species bird flocks. According to a study carried out on the mixed species bird flocks, 42 individual birds occur in the flocks on average, which makes this the world's largest mixed species bird flock. The mixed species Bird flock study of Sinharaja forest has been continuing since 1981 and is considered as the World's longest studied bird flock study. On a birding trip to Sinharaja a birdwatcher can see close to 18 of the 27 endemic bird species although the actual number of endemic birds recorded at Sinharaja is more.
The former logging roads provide the best access for prime birding in Sinharaja where a mixed species bird flock and give you with a mouthwatering selection which include Orange- billed Babbler, Crested Drongo, Red–faced Malkoha, Ashy–headed Laughing Thrush, Green-billed Coucal, Lesser Yellownape, OrangeMinivet, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Black- nappedMonarch, Yellow fronted Barbet, White–faced Starling, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Bronze- winged Pigeon, Spot- winged Thrush, Sri Lanka Myna, Legge's Flowerpecker, Brown–backed Needletail, Green Imperial Pigeon, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Chestnut- backed Owlet, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Sealy Thrush, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Black- throated Munia, Layard's Parakeet, Black Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Dark- fronted Babbler and Velvut- fronted Nuthatch, As the dusk falls you could look for the sub-continental endemic Sri Lanka Frogmouth.
Animals in Sinharaja Rain Forest
PURPLE FACED LEAF MONKEY-Presbytis senexvetulusLocallyknownasHALLIWANDURA.This primate is a vegetarian,feeding mostly at the top canopy of the forest.The most striking feature is the distinct silver-white lower back region,which separate it from the other sub-species.They move about in small group of about 12-15 individuals with a single adult-male.The rang of this sub species is in the south-western sector,soth of the kalu Ganga
Plants in Sinharaja Rain Forest
Insect Trapper-Neppenthes distillatoria.
The"Pitcher Plant" locally known as BANDURA,
Family Nepenthaceae is a creeper on shrubs and treelets.The leaf tip modified to from an elongated sac (a pitcher) filled with a liquid which traps insects to be digested by the plant.The thickened stem of the plant is used for tying, in the construction of wattle and daub houses and ladders by the construction of wattle and daub houses and ladders by the natives.Usually grow along forest margins and disturbed sites.
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