Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Located in south-west Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the country's last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. There is much endemic wildlife, especially birds, but the reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka's endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians.

Réserve forestière de Sinharaja

Situé dans le sud-ouest de Sri Lanka, le Sinharaja est la dernière zone viable de forêt tropicale humide primaire du pays. Plus de 60 % des arbres sont endémiques et bon nombre d'entre eux sont considérés comme rares. La faune endémique est nombreuse, notamment les oiseaux et 50 % d'espèces de mammifères et de papillons, ainsi que beaucoup de sortes d'insectes, de reptiles et d'amphibiens rares.

محمية سينهاراجا الحرجية

تشكل محمية سينهاراجا الواقعة جنوب غرب سريلانكا النقطة الحية الأخيرة من الغابات المدارية الرطبة العذراء في البلاد. ويتألف 60% من هذه الغابات من أشجار مستوطنة، الى جانب عدد كبير من الأشجار التي تعتبر نادرة. اما الحيوانات المستوطنة فكثيرة وتتضمن بشكل خاص الطيور و50% من أصناف الثدييات والفراشات، ناهيك عن أصناف متعددة من الحشرات والزواحف والضفدعيات النادرة.

source: UNESCO/ERI



source: UNESCO/ERI

Лесной резерват Синхараджа

Расположенный в юго-западной части Шри-Ланки, Синхараджа представляет собой последний во всей стране массив девственного влажно-тропического леса. Более 60 % деревьев – это эндемики, причем многие из них признаны редкими. Среди представителей фауны также много эндемиков, особенно среди птиц; кроме того, здесь обитает свыше 50 % эндемичных для Шри-Ланки видов млекопитающих и бабочек; отмечено большое разнообразие насекомых, рептилий и амфибий.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Reserva forestal de Sinharaja

Situada al sudoeste de Sri Lanka, esta reserva es la última zona viable del primigenio bosque tropical húmedo del país. Más del 60% de sus árboles son endémicos y muchos de ellos pertenecen a especies poco comunes. Las especies endémicas de aves son particularmente numerosas. Además, la reserva alberga más del 50% de las especies endémicas de mamíferos y mariposas de Sri Lanka, así como muchas clases de insectos, reptiles y anfíbios poco comunes.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Bosreservaat Sinharaja

Het bosreservaat Sinharaja ligt in het zuidwesten van Sri Lanka. Het is het laatste levensvatbare primair tropisch regenwoud van Sri Lanka. Meer dan 60% van de bomen zijn inheems en velen hiervan worden beschouwd als zeer zeldzaam. Er is veel inheemse fauna – vooral vogels – in het reservaat, maar het is ook de thuisbasis van meer dan 50% van Sri Lanka's inheemse soorten zoogdieren (het luipaard en de Indische olifant zijn bedreigde zoogdieren) en vlinders. Verder komen er veel soorten insecten, reptielen en zeldzame amfibieën voor. Het reservaat is bewoond; in het zuidwesten bevinden zich twee dorpen.


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Long Description

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is situated in the south-west lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. Most of the area was originally declared a forest reserve on 1875 under the Waste Lands Ordinance and notified in the Ceylon Government, whereas the rest was notified a proposed forest reserve in the early 20th century. Sinharaja Forest Reserve, comprising the existing and proposed forest reserves, was declared a biosphere reserve in 1978.

This narrow strip of undulating terrain consists of a series of ridges and valleys. Two main types of forest can be recognized: remnants of Dipterocarpus forest occur in valleys and on their lower slopes; secondary forest and scrub occur where the original forest cover has been removed by shifting cultivation and in other places the forest has been replaced by rubber and tea plantations. Mesua-Doona forest is the climax vegetation in most of the reserve. Of Sri Lanka's 830 endemic species, 217 trees and woody climbers are found in the lowland wet zone. Other rare endemics are the palm, the latter being restricted to Sinhagala. A variety of plants of known benefit to man are present, of which palm (for jaggery, a sugar substitute), wewal, cardamom, dun (for varnish and incense) and weniwal (for medicinal purposes) are used intensively by villagers.

Endemism is high, particularly for birds, mammals and butterflies. Threatened mammals are leopard and Indian elephant. Birds considered to be endangered or rare are Sri Lanka wood pigeon, green-billed coucal, Sri Lanka white-headed starling, Sri Lanka blue magpie, ashy-headed babbler and red-faced malkoha. Of interest is the presence of the Sri Lanka broad-billed roller. Reptiles and amphibia include the python, which is vulnerable, and a number of endemic species. Noteworthy species include the rarest of all agamids on the island, the rough-nose horned lizard and a rare endemic microhylid. Threatened freshwater fish are combtail, smooth-breasted snakehead, black ruby barb, cherry barb and red-tail goby. Sri Lankan five-bar sword, which is considered to be very rare, is not uncommon in Sinharaja at certain times of the year.

The Sinharaja region has long featured in the legends and lore of the people of Sri Lanka. Its name, literally meaning lion (sinha ) king (raja ), perhaps refers to the original 'king-sized or royal forest of the Sinhalese', a people of the legendary 'lion-race' of Sri Lanka, or to the home of a legendary lion of Sri Lanka.

There are two villages within the south-west of the reserve, and about 52 families live in the north-western sector. At least 20 other settlements occur on the periphery, an unknown number of which have been illegally established on state land without approval from the relevant authorities.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the last viable remnant of Sri Lanka's tropical lowland rainforest; over 60% of the trees are endemic and many of these are rare; and there are 21 endemic bird species as well as a number of rare insects, reptiles and amphibians.

Historical Description

Notified a national heritage wilderness area on 21 October 1988 (Gazette No. 528/14). Most of the area was originally declared a forest reserve on 3 May 1875 under the Waste Lands Ordinance and notified in the Ceylon Government Gazette No. 4046, dated 8 May 1875, while the rest was notified a proposed forest reserve in the early 20th century. Sinharaja Forest Reserve, comprising the existing and proposed forest reserves, was declared a biosphere reserve in April 1978, and inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1988.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation
  • The WH area is managed directly by the Divisional Forest Officer from the Forest Dept. A national steering Committee co-ordinates institutions for Sinharaja as a National Wilderness Area, Biosphere Reserve (1988), and WH site. There are two management plans, prepared in 1985/86 and 1992/94, which emphasise conservation, scientific research, buffer zone management, benefit-sharing, and community participation.