Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's highlands are situated in the south-central part of the island and includes three properties: the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest.

Horton Plains National Park
This postcard was sent by Javier

Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988.
The vegetation of the park is classified into two distinctive groups, 2,000 hectares (7.7 sq mi) of wet patana (Sinhalese for "montane grasslands") and 1,160 hectares (4.5 sq mi) of subtropical montane evergreen forests. Nearly 750 species of plants belonging to 20 families have been recorded from the park.
The vertebrate fauna of the region includes 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, nine species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians. The Sri Lankan elephant disappeared from the region in the 1940s at the latest. At present, the largest and the most commonly seen mammal is the sambar deer. Some research findings estimate the population of sambar deer to be around 1500 to 2000, possibly more than the carrying capacity of the plains. Other mammal species found in the park include Kelaart's long-clawed shrewstoque macaquespurple-faced langursrusty-spotted catSri Lankan leopardswild boarsstripe-necked mongoosesSri Lankan spotted chevrotainsIndian muntjacs, and grizzled giant squirrelsFishing cats and European otters visit the wetlands of the park to prey on aquatic animals. A subspecies of red slender loris, the Horton Plains slender loris (Loris tardigradus nycticeboides formerly sometimes considered as Loris lydekkerianus nycticeboides) is found only in highlands of Sri Lanka and is considered one of the world's most endangered primates. - in: wikipedia

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