National parks in Sri Lanka – Lunugamvehera


Elephant at lunugamvehera national parkLunugamvehera national park Sri Lanka is covered by rare trees and home to many endangered animal species, Lunugamvehera national park has become a popular destination in the southern province of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated bordering the Udawalawa national park and Yala national park. It is declared as a national park in December 1953 and spread over 23498.8 hectares.The Lunugamvehera National Park was designed to protect water-ways and to provide a resting-station for elephants, migrating between the Eastern section of the Yala Wildlife Conservation and the Western side of the Udawalawa National Park.

Lunugamvehera had been a prominent and important region for the Ruhunu kingdom (Kingdom in the southern Sri Lanka) in early days and it had been very thriving area in the region. Lunugamvehera National Park is situated bordering Kuda Oya and Kirindi Oya; main tributaries of the Lunugamvehera reservoir. These river are both a means of support for thousands people and also the cause of great disasters in the flood season.

lunugamvehera sri lankaOne of the main attractions of the Lunugamvehera national park is the reservoir which spread over 3283 hectares. This reservoir came to being under the Lunugamvehera development project and 600 families in the village using it as their main source of income through the fishing. The reservoir is a great irrigation resource, which can hold 350 million cubic meters of water to irrigate 17,000 hectares of rice and crops in Area. This reservoir is also a source of fish and shrimp for residents.

The reserve was established in order to protect the wild life, as well as biodiversity in the region. Lunugamvehera is a national park with very high bio-diversity, which contains trees, belongs to different forest types in Sri Lanka such as dry zone forest, Rain forests, arid zone vegetation, shrubs, and grass land etc. Weera, Kone, Palu, Hik, Kunumallawa, Kirikone, Ulkenda, Kappetiy and Coffee plants are commonly seen in the park.

birds at lunugamvehera forest reserveSixty two different species of trees recorded in the National park while the number of animal species recorded is 42. Elephant is the most common animal in the National park numbering 100 to 150 Elephants. Elephant corridor which is located between Udawalawa and Lunugamvehera national park enables the animals to migrate from one national park to the other; widening the habitat for the animals. Other than the elephants one can see the animal such as Leopards, Bear, monkeys, crocodile, deer, sambar, different species of birds.