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Exploring Sri Lanka's Untamed Wilds

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Mega Fauna

Mega Fauna

The Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya), is the iconic apex predator of the island and a unique subspecies native to Sri Lanka. They are the most successful of the big cats with the ability to survive in any habitat, from scrub jungles, to rainforests to open savannahs. Feeding on a wide variety of prey species from spotted deer, sambhur and wild boar to smaller species such as land monitors, black naped hare and even village dogs they are the ultimate survivors.

Leopards prefer hunting at night, but are also active during dawn and dusk, and daytime hours. They rarely haul their kills into trees, which is likely due to the lack of competition from larger predators such as Lions, Hyenas and Tigers which pose a serious threat to leopards in Africa and India.

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Mega Fauna

Bird Life

Arguably one of the most sought after species on any birding tour to Sri Lanka, the Serendib Scops Owl is the newest bird species discovered to science. Discovered in 2001, this iconic owl is seen in the lowland rainforests of Sri Lanka. Being extremely secretive in nature the owl eluded surveys across the island which began by the Dutch colonialists over 200 years ago. Many eminent ornithologists explored this island for many years, and yet this charismatic bird may have been perched in hiding not far from them and yet remained undiscovered.

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Mega Fauna

Marine Mammals

The wonder of Sri Lanka’s natural heritage begins with its rich oceans and these waters are a haven for marine mammals. These animals can be divided into Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises and Dugongs. Marine mammals breathe air, reproduce live young mammals who feed on their mother’s milk.

There are 28 species of marine mammals in Sri Lanka, including six species of great whales.

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Mega Fauna

Reptiles & Amphibians

Sri Lanka’s herpetological diversity is astounding, has some of the richest bio-diversities in Asia. When it comes to amphibians, Sri Lanka has over 116 species and out of which over 96 species are endemic to the island. Adding to this, the loss of habitats has also resulted in many of these species to be endangered, with over 20% of the islands amphibian fauna being lost over the past century and around 50% on the brink of extinction. Despite these set backs dedicated scientists keep discovering new species to science to this day.

The reptile diversity is equally impressive with the island with over 210 known species on the island out of which over 125 are endemic and found no-where else in the world. Found in all habitats across the island, even here there are many new species being discovered every year.

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Mega Fauna

Small Mammals

Sri Lanka is well known for its big charismatic mega fauna, But there is an even rarer and fascinating collection of mammals which are highly sought after. If the Leopard, Elephant, Sloth Bear, Wild Buffalo and Blue Whale form what is known as the Big 5 of Sri Lanka, then the following can be called the “Special 6” of Sri Lanka.

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Mega Fauna

Butterflies & Dragon Flies

The island paradise of Sri Lanka with its dry lowlands, tropical rainforests and misty highlands and a multitude of wetlands, provides the ideal terrain for a multitude of butterfly species to flourish. At present, 245 different species of butterflies have been recorded in Sri Lanka including 23 endemic to this island. The largest is the Ceylon Birdwing, which has a wingspan of 135mm. A beauty in black and yellow, this is the national butterfly of Sri Lanka. They are generally found in wooded mountainous forests. The smallest is the Grass Jewel which is tiny, and ranging from 8-13mm in size.

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Thank you so much, I appreciate all of your hard work helping us find great snakes...


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Had a wonderful, great tour with many highlights each day. Thanks for working overtime...


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Canada

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I went on the last weekend Yala tour with Rajiv Welikala and had a great trip, great organization...


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