Sri Lanka is home to many endemic species and unfortunately, endangered as well. With over 7 national parks across the country, tourists can take their pick and organize wildlife tours at any park and get the chance to see our endemic wildlife – the most famous being the Yala national park. Sri Lanka is home to the Sri Lankan Leopard, which if lucky can be seen in Yala.
Sri Lanka, despite its small size proclaims one of the highest rates of biological endemism in the world. Nearly 16% of the animals and 23% of plants that are found in this small island are endemic to the country.
Of the ninety-one species of mammals found in Sri Lanka Asian elephants, sloth bear, leopards, sambar and wild buffaloes engage the majority of the attention of wildlife enthusiast. Yet the rarest mammals of Sri Lanka are the red slender Loris, Toque Macaque, and Purple-faced Langur, who according to IUCN clarifications are endangered due to habitat loss.
Meanwhile, the ocean around Sri Lanka is home to large families of cetaceans including the mighty blue whales, sperm whales and lively dolphins. Altogether 26 species of cetaceans rule the waters surrounding the country, making it one of the best locations for whale and dolphin watching.
Sri Lanka has one of the richest diversity of amphibians in the world, containing over 106 species of amphibians of over 90 of which are endemic. The country has long claimed to have the highest amphibian species density in the world with a85% of endemicity ratio in Amphibians, especially in the Sinharaja rainforest.
Despite the mighty elephants and rare amphibians found in the country birds are the glory of the Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Boasting nearly 433 bird species The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens in the central highlands, an expansive park blooming with colorful, fragrant flowers and boasting several hidden gardens, this botanical complex thoroughly earns its reputation as one of the highlights of tourism in Sri Lanka.
The Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala and Udawalawa provide a refuge to many abandoned and injured elephants of various ages and sizes, making them one of the largest tamed elephant herds in the world is a must see.