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Sri lanka The wonder of asia

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Sri Lanka   is an island country in South Asia near south-east India. Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the  Maldives to the southwest . Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years.  Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II .  Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as  Ceylon   . A diverse and multicultural country, Sri Lanka is home to many religions, ethnic groups, and languages. [12]  In addition to the majority Sinhalese, it is home to large groups of Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils, Moors, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal  Vedas.

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A remarkably high proportion of the species among its flora and fauna, 27% of the 3,210 flowering plants and 22% of the mammals , are endemic. Sri Lanka has declared 24 wildlife reserves, which are home to a wide range of native species such as Asian elephants, leopards, sloth bears, the unique small Loris, a variety of deer, the purple-faced langur, the endangered wild boar, porcupines and Indian pangolins . FLORA AND FAUNA

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Fauna Diversity of Sri Lanka The fauna of Sri Lanka is as diverse as the flora. While sharing common features with the neighbouring subcontinent, the fauna exhibits very high endemism among the less mobile groups. With taxonomical revisions and descriptions of new species the number of species in each group keeps changing.  For endemic species, the distribution patterns are similar to the flora: the wet zone has many more endemic species than the dry zone. In terms of mammals, birds and fishes, the three major groups that are well studies in Sri Lanka, each group has a different distribution pattern. 

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Endemic Species of Sri Lanka Red slender Loris Dusky palm squirrel Golden palm civet Sri Lankan Wood Pigeon Sri Lankan Magpie Sri Lankan Green Pigeon

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Endangered Species Of Sri Lanka Asian Elephant Fin Whale Nillu Rat Purple faced leaf monkey Blue Whale Jungle Shrew

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Extinct Species Of Sri Lanka Thwaithe's Shrub Frog Yunnan lake newt

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Sri Lanka has considerably high diversity of flowering plants. According to the recent checklist published in 2001, in Sri Lanka there are 214 flowering plant families, 1,522 genera and 4,143 species. Of the total number of species, about 75% are indigenous and about 25% are exotic. Of the total number of indigenous plant species 27.53% are found to be endemic to Sri Lanka. 75% of Flowering plants belong to the sub class – Dicoteledonae and rest belongs to the sub class – Monocoteledonae. Above mentioned numbers and percentages can vary slightly, due to the incompletion of the checklist. There are enough evidences to suggest the total number of flowering plant of Sri Lanka may exceed 4,500. In this it is study considered that there are 4206 plant species in Sri Lanka for further analysis. Sri Lanka has the 871 endemic flowering plant species .

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Endemic Species Of Sri Lanka Canna Binara Etamba Gorakka Garcinia hermonii Tortoise shell bamboo

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Endangered Species Of Sri Lanka Vesak Orchids Acacia ferruginea Amboyna wood Beautiful leaf Crook fruit palm

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Extinct Species Of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Legume Tree Water hyacinth

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Overview of threats to Sri Lanka’s biodiversity:

Overview of threats to Sri Lanka’s biodiversity Sri Lanka has a unique biodiversity with a high percentage of endemics among the nation’s biota. This heritage is now threatened, mainly because of : Habitat loss and Fragmentation. Pollution. Increasing human population density. Human-Wildlife conflict.

1.Habitat loss and fragmentation :

1.Habitat loss and fragmentation Serious threat to terrestrial wild biodiversity in Sri Lanka. Loss of forests through clearing for development. Illegal slash and burn cultivation in the dry zone. Cultivation of cash crops in wet zone. Forest Fragmentation for human settlement and plantation in biologically rich wet zone.

2. Pollution. :

2. Pollution . Inland freshwater and coastal wetlands contamination with fertilizers, pesticides,weedicide , sewage. Aquatic habitats unusable to freshwater species. Release of ballast water and waste oil and tar from ships have added to coastal pollution. Beach ecosystems area also polluted when used as dumping grounds for solid waste due to the paucity of land for safe disposal .

3. Increasing human population density:

3. Increasing human population density Sri Lanka has a total human population of 20 million as opposed to 7.2 million when the country gained independence in 1948. Increasing population density results in increased the pressure on natural ecosystems and species. High human population densities (more than 500 persons per sq km) around the species rich wet zone forests have increased the risk of forest encroachment and poaching.

4. Human-Wildlife conflict :

4. Human-Wildlife conflict The disruption of continuous stretches of forest, particularly in the dry zone has greatly affected the travel patterns of wildlife, particularly elephants, and has escalated human-wildlife conflicts. the human–elephant conflict has reached very high proportions resulting in continual damage to crops and habitations, injury to elephants, and frequent deaths of both humans and elephants. the severe fragmentation of wet zone forests due to plantation agriculture has affected primate dispersal, leading to co-occurrence of monkeys in home gardens and crop plantations.

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Deforestation is one of the most serious environmental issues in Sri Lanka. In the 1920s, the island had a 49 percent forest cover but by 2005 this had fallen by approximately 20 percent . The government of Sri Lanka and international environmental organisations have made several steps to address the problem over the years, establishing  national parks, reserves and sanctuaries , which now cover as much as 15 percent of the island's total area as of 2007 .  The  Sinharaja Forest Reserve, which was established in 1978 to protect the nearly extinct tropical lowland rain forest, was flagged as a World Heritage Site  in 1988 .

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The  Department of Forest Conservation is a  Non-ministerial government department  responsible for forestry in Sri Lanka. Its mission is to protect and expand Sri Lanka's forests and  woodlands . It has limited policing powers in protected forest areas to stop illegal poaching and logging, with the power to arrest suspects . Despite of these facts , government is also planning to: Create Conservation Areas Surveys are conducted to identify areas that could be reforested and developed as Primate Conservation Areas.

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Plant trees Seeds and seedlings of plants that are suitable for reforestation are collected and maintained in nurseries. When these plants are no longer vulnerable, they are planted in degraded areas to increase forest cover. On average, this has resulted in the planting of about 5,500 saplings over a 4-hectare (10-acre) area each year . Educate and engage communities CI-supported work in Sri Lanka focuses on initiatives that benefit the 15,000 children, youths, adults and the elders of the communities that live near conservation areas. 

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FLORA AND FAUNA: The names of protected species of animals, birds and plants have been mentioned at Schedule I of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The Union Government has established a country-wide protected area network for protection of these species and their habitats of threatened flora and fauna under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 . The network includes 730 Protected Areas including 103 National Parks, 535 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 26 Community Reserves and 66 Conservation Reserves in different bio-geographic region .

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Legal protection has been provided to wild animals under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 against hunting and commercial exploitation. Special programmes like Project Elephant’ and ‘Project Tiger’ have been launched for conservation of these endangered species and their habitats .

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