Travellanka October 2017

88 Eco Tourism U nderstanding the importance of conservation ecological integrity, largewildernesstractsweresetaside by successive rulers as reserves for rain catchmentandpestcontrolpurposes.Today, thesanctuaries,nationalparks,andreserves where lawprotects flora and fauna comprise 14% of the Island’s total land area of 65,610sq, Km. Within this land area there are more than 70 sanctuaries, National parks & a number of wetlands andmountain ranges. Therefore the bio-diversity in Sri Lanka is regarded to be greater per sq. metre of surface area than any other country in the Asian Region. When Sri Lanka’s ecosystem is compared with other Asian countries, Sri Lanka has many tropical rain forests, montane, lowland and virgin forests and wetlands. There are also many ecosystems with mangroves, sand dunes, beaches and coral reefs. Numbering over 220, Sri Lanka for its size has perhaps the largest number of waterfalls of any country in the world. Sri Lanka is a global bio-diversity hot spot. About half of its species are endemic, including all fresh water crabs, 90% amphibians,25-75%reptilesandvertebrates, around 50% fresh water fishes, 26% flowering plants, 145mammals and as many as non migrant birds. Eco Tourism Sri Lanka blessed with an abundance of flora and fauna has a long tradition of conservation. This goes back to its ancient Buddhist tradition which teaches respect and compassion to all living things. The world’s first wild life sanctuary was set up by Royal edict in the 3rd c. B.C. in Mihintale (where the Buddhist doctrine was first preached) and is still a sanctuary. Namaluyana Arankele Knuckels Mountain Range Adams Peak IFS-Popham Arboretum, Dambulla 4 6 5 8 7 Sinharaja Rain Forest Kanneliya Forest Reserve 1 2 Hiyare Reservoir 3 Dondra Kalpitiya Trincomalee ECO TOURISM Sinharaja Rain Forest 1 Kanneliya Forest Reserve 2 Hiyare Reservoir Rain Forest 3 Namaluyana 4 IFS-Popham Arboretum, Dambulla 5 Arankele 6 Adams Peak 7 Knuckels Mountain Range 8