Minneriya National Park

The Elephant gathering, all visitors remind Minneriya National Park. It’s Located 198 km away from Colombo. The park designated as a national park on 12 August 1997, have been originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. In August and September each year during the dry season, wild elephants from the surrounding wilderness in search of food and water, makes their way to the shores of the Minneriya Reservoir adjoining the Minneriya National Park A huge herd of elephants, sometimes numbering up to 300, converge together within a few square kilometers of the lake. Minneriya National Park affords the opportunity to sight herds of Elephants throughout the year. May to October is the best period to visit. The main sources of water for the tank are a diversion of Amban River and Elahera Canal.

The National Park's faunal species include 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies.

The Minneriya National Park is harbor to less than 160 species of birds. The massive Minneriya irrigation reservoir is bound to be bird watchers paradise. Among the migrating birds are Common sandpipers, Wood sand piper, Kentish Plovers. Malabar-pied Hornbills, Rufus Woodpecker the globally endangered Lesser Adjutant are among the forest birds. Add to these are of course the endemics to Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Crimson-fronted Barber, Sri Lanka Grey Horn bill, Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon. This reservoir is also important habitat for large number of water birds such as lesser adjutant, painted stork, spot-billed pelican and Instances of occurring a flock of 2000 little cormorants have been reported.

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