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 Nature
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Sri Lanka is known to be the most biologically diverse country in Asia and is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot of global importance. It’s diverse topography and varied climatic zones, higher number of river basin per unit area have given rise to extremely high levels of species diversity, higher than in most other tropical Asian countries when measured in terms of unit area and much of this diversity is endemic.

Sri Lanka has an extensive system of protected areas under the department of Wildlife and conservation covering a considerable area. Conservation of nature and culture are ancient traditions in Sri lanka and one of the world’s first wildlife sanctuaries was established in the 3rd century BC by king Devanampiyatissa in whose reign Buddhism was also introduced to Sri Lanka. It was not until 1885 however with the enactment of the Forest Ordinance that legal provision was made to protect wildlife through the establishment of sanctuaries, along with the passing of the Fauna and Flora protection Ordinance in 1937 and are categorized in to four i.e Strict Nature reserves, Nature reserves, National Parks and Sanctuaries. Under this act until about the year 2005, 14 designated areas were declared as National Parks and since then there have been another 6 additions. Out of these parks the most popular and frequently visited National Parks by foreign visitors are : Ruhunu, commonly known ay Yala NP, Udawalawe NP, Wasgamuwa NP, Minneriya NP, Horton Plains NP and Bundala NP this is due to the varied wildlife viewing opportunities as well as the location. Maduru Oya NP, Gal Oya NP and particularly Wilpattu NP provide good opportunities for viewing Elephants and the later for many other wildlife species as well, although due to the security situation that existed in the country for many years, these parks were out of bounds, but following the liberation of the north and east from LTTE terror in May 2009, the public will now be able to visit these parks without fear.

There are a number of forest reserves and rainforests in the Island but the most frequently visited is the Sinharaja rainforest which has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Sinharaja along with the many other less popular sanctuaries and nature reserves are home to many species of fauna, avifauna, trees and palnts many of which are endemic species, all such places are protected under the forest department

 
   
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