Sinharaja Rain forest is a magnificent nature’s creation. This forest is important role in its diversity and as well as educationally. Sinharaja is treated as an treasure of Flora and fauna. It has been evolving since it was started up to today without interference for the heart of the forest. By considering its value it was named as a National preserved forest in the year of 1988. And after that in the following year (1989) UNESCO named Sinharaja as a natural world heritage site.Sinharaja covers an area of 23000 archers (11.187 hec). It is 21 kilometers in width.
Bounders of Sinjaharaja:
• From North – Napola streem and Koskulana River
• From South – “Mahadola” and “Gin gaga”
• From East Beverly estate
• From West – “Kalundawa stream” and Thuduwa River
Location and entry roads:
Sinharaja forest is located within (North 6 21 ? 6 27 and Estern coordinate 80 21 ? 80 34) It belongs to three districts namely Galle, Matara and Ratnapura. There are five major routes to enter the forest.
• By traveling along Ratnapura – Kalawana – Weddagala via Kudawa
• Along Deniyaya through Beverly estate
• Through Dafordin estate of Rakwana
• Through Morning side estate of Rakwana
• Through Hiniduma- Neluwa via Kosmulla
Sinharaja is located at a height of 1000 to 4000 feet above the sea level and the highest mountain is “West Hinipitigala” which is 1170 meters in hight. In addition to this Sinharaja have several other mountains as well “East Hinipitigala” (1168 m), “Thibotagala (904 m)”, “Kosgulana (797 m)”, “Dothalugala (769 m)”, “Mulawella (760 m)”, “Sinhagala ( or Lion rock 742 m)”. Sinharaja belongs to the wet zone and gets continuous rainfall throughout the year from North-east and south-west monsoons. Yearly rainfall is between 3000 mm to 6000 mm. Because of this Sinharaja falls to Tropical Wet Evergreen forest category. Yearly temperature floats between 18 C and 27 C where the humidity is between 75% – 80%.
Flora and Fauna of Sinharaja:
There are many endemic plant species found in Sinharaja as for numbers it is identified as 13. Another important feature is that 75% of the forest is covered from the plants endemic to Sri Lanka which is why it is so important to Sri Lanka. Some funs which were believed to extent for ever were found in this forest (such as Lindsaea repens, Tectaria thwaitesii)You can evident five main Flora layers in Sinharaja.
• Emergent Layer
• Canopy Layer
• Sub Canopy Layer
• Under storey Layer
• Ground Flora
The Emergent Layer has the tallest trees from all those trees are more than 45 meters in highest. Trees of this category seen in Sinharaja are Dipterocarpus zeylanicus, Dipterocarpus hispidus etc.
The Canopy Layer consists of trees like Mesua nagassarium, Mangifera zeylanica, Doona macrophlla. The height of these trees are between 30 and 45 locates bit far from each other. This tree makes the green canopy.
The Sub Canopy Layer consists of trees with 15 metes and 30 meters high. Trees such as Chaetocarpus castanocarpus, Myristica dactyloides, Caryota urens, Glenniea unijuga
The Under storey Layer of Sinharaja consist of trees height vary from 5 to 15 meters. Trees such as Garcinia hermonil, Xylopia championii, Ochlandra spp, Dironnira scabrida.
Ground Flora of is less than 5metes high. Plants such as Gaertnera vaginans, Apama siliquosa, Clerodendrum thwaitessi can be seen in Sinharaja.
Animal Species of Sinharaja:
Sinharaja is home to many different animal species, the diversity is very high. It includes butterflies, Reptiles, fresh water fish species, Birds, Amphibians and mammals. There are about 65 species of butterflies live in this forest making it a very attractive place. Among them Sri Lanka?s biggest Common birdwing , Five Bar Sword tail, Blur bottle, Blur mormon etc.
This we evergreen forest is an ideal place to ampibians such as Adenomus kelaaritii, Icthyophis glutinosus, Bufo kotagamai, Lankanectes corrugatus, Microhyla karunaratnei, Bufo noellerti, which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Fish species such as Belontia signata, Puntius pleurotaenia Sinharaja is home to 10 endemic amphibian species and there are about 27 amphibian species are recorded here.
There are about 43 reptile species are recorded here among them Naja naja, Cercaspis carinata, Bungarus ceylonicus, Boiga barnesii, Ceratophalus aspera, , Ceratophalus karu
Out of 26 endemic bird species 25 are recorded in Sinharaja. The total bird species recorded in this forest is 158. Namely Gallus lafayettii, Galloperdx bicalcarata, Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus
There are about 40 mammal species are found in this forest. Out of this 40 seven species are endemic. Macaca sinica, Munitacus muntjak, Mains cassicaudata, Ratufa macroura and Canis aureus can be seen here.
As described in this small document Sinharaja is worth for naming as a world natural heritage, come visit Sri Lanka and get the enormous natural feeling of the world famous Tropical evergreen forest Sinharaja.
Help preserve the natural habitats of thousands of species living in this forest and for the next generation by doing your part.
• Do not go very close to the animals and do not make them afraid
• Do not make loud noises.
• Do exactly what the trekker asked to do
• Do not leave anything such as plastic cans, plastic bags etc
• And finally do not take anything (Flora, Fauna or animals, eggs ..Etc) from the forest except photographs and the wonderful memories of Sinharaja