sinharaja world heritage forest

Wildlife National Parks & Forest Reserves in Sri Lanka

Horton Plains NP, Sri Lanka
Horton Plains NP, Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka Natural Forests are managed by Forest Department and Department of Wildlife Conservation. Visitors are allowed for recreational purposes (Eco-Tourism) in  following protected areas in Sri Lanka.

Biodiversity and Eco-Tourism in Sri Lanka

National Geographic Channel rated Sri Lanka as the second best place to visit in its travel documentary “World’s Twenty Best Tourist Destinations” (2010). More recently, “Lonely Planet”, a leading travel and tourism information source rated Sri Lanka at the top in its “Best in Travel 2013 – Top 10 countries” list. Interestingly, all these sources have highlighted nature-based attributes and biodiversity as major attractions in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka boasts having the highest biodiversity per 10,000 km2 in Asia, and it is also rated as one of the 25 biodiversity hot spots in the world. At the same time, Sri Lanka also has a highly sophisticated Protected Area network managed under Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) and Forest Department (FD), where an area of over 1,710,000 hectares accounting for 26.5% of the land area of the country is legally protected. These Protected Areas (PAs) along with other natural landscapes provide diverse nature tourism opportunities within the country.

National Parks managed by Department of Wildlife Conservation

There are 22 National Parks in Sri Lanka under Department of Wildlife Conservation.

  • Yala
  • Horton Plains
  • Udawalawa
  • Minneriya
  • Hikkaduwa
  • Pigeon Island
  • Wilpattu
  • Wasgamuwa
  • Kumana
  • Kaudulla
  • Bundala
  • Horagolla
  • Lunugamwehera
  • Gal Oya
  • Angammedilla
  • Galways land
  • Lahugala
  • Maduru Oya

Word Heritage Forests and Bioshpere Conservation Reserves of Forest Department

World Heritage Sites

There are two World Heritage Natural Properties in Sri Lanka managed by the Forest Department used for Eco-Tourism.

  1. Sinharaja World Heritage Property
  2. Knuckles Range of Forests in Central Highlands

Biosphere Reserves and Conservation Forests

Following International Biosphere Reserves and Conservation Forests and set apart only for visitation and forestry research. Following  forests are widely used for Eco-Tourism.

  1. Hurulu International Biosphere Reserve.
  2. Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya (KDN) International Biosphere Reserve.
  3. Udawattakele Forest Reserve.


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