Sinharaja Rainforest- home to a variety of fascinating animals

Published: 11th May 2010
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Located in the Sabaragamuwa and the Southern Provinces of Sri Lanka, the Sinharaja Rainforest is home to a number of endemic animal species and insects. Sinharaja has at times been categorized as a Tropical Lowland Rainforest and a Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest by wildlife experts. However this fascinating forest is a heaven for a host of birds, butterflies, fish, a variety of amphibians and insects. Although large mammal sightings at Sinharaja Rainforest have been few and far between, mouse deer and barking deer have been spotted regularly within forest limits. The word Sinharaja it self means 'the kingdom of the lion' however lions have never been spotted here. The only big cats known to roam these forests are leopards that are the most adaptable species of all big cat varieties.

The most significant feature of the dominant plant life in Sinharaja Rainforest is the loftiness of the larger species and the sheer variety of plants that grow in these parts. Some trees found in these forests are known to be more than 50 meters in height. The high level of humidity found in the forest creates an ideal environment for the growth of plants.

The Sinharaja Rainforest is also a safe heaven for hundreds of birds of which roughly 72% are resident species and 13% are migrant birds. Some of the rare species of endemic birds that have been spotted in this forest include the Sri Lanka blue magpie, the green billed coucal, the red faced malkoha, the ashy- headed babbler and the white headed starling. A variety of reptiles and amphibians also call these forests their home along with a range of fish species such as the striped rasbora and the walking catfish.

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