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Sri Lanka - Nature

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Like its history and culture nature also plays an important role in Sri Lanka’s tourism. Sited across the sea this marvelous island boasts the pleasant climate and is also rich in flora and fauna. Delving into nature of Sri Lanka it primarily and directly depends on the availability of rainwater. The high mountains of Sri Lanka and the southwestern part of the country are known as the wet zone. These are the areas that receive ample rainfall averaging almost 250 centimeters. The most surprising feature is that majority of the southeast, east, and northern parts of the country comprise the dry zone. This dry zone receives annual rainfall between 1200 and 1900 mm. and much of the rain in these areas falls from October to January; during the rest of the year there is very little precipitation. This is the reason why all living creatures must conserve precious moisture. In all, this splendid island has three biosphere reserves, Hurulu, Sinharaja, and the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya

Talking about its nature Sri Lanka’s arid northwest and southeast coasts receive the least amount of rain. That is almost 600 to 1200 mm per year and this scanty rainfall is mainly concentrated within the short period of the winter monsoon. The main highlight of Sri Lanka’s nature is that herein you can find varieties of flowering acacias that are well adapted to the arid conditions and flourish on the Jaffna Peninsula. And talking about the trees of the dry-land forests are some valuable species, such as satinwood, ebony, ironwood, and mahogany.

Now knowing the wet zone nature of Sri Lanka, herein the dominant vegetation of the lowlands is a tropical evergreen forest, with tall trees, broad foliage, and a dense undergrowth of vines and creepers. This is the prime reason why subtropical evergreen forests resembling those of temperate climates flourish in the higher altitudes. Very few know that there was a time during the Mahaweli Ganga Program of the 1970s and 1980s in northern Sri Lanka, the government set aside four areas of land totaling 1,900 km² as national parks.

There was a time when nature played an important role in Sri Lanka’s tourism as forests were its main highlight. Few years back forests covered nearly the entire island, but by the late 20th century lands classified as forests and forest reserves covered only one-fifth of the land. Seeing this sudden forest erosion Ruhunu National Park in the southeast protects herds of elephant, deer, and peacocks. Same can be mentioned for Wilpattu National Park in the northwest preserves the habitats of many water birds, such as storks, pelicans, ibis, and spoonbills.

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