Monday, July 1, 2013

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park

A large number of Sri Lankan elephants is attracted to grass fields on the edges of the reservoir during the dry season.
The Minneriya tank sustains a large herd of elephants. Some reports say that the number of elephants is as high as 700. They migrate here from the Wasgamuwa National Park and benefit from food and shelter that is found in abundance. Tourists visit Minneriya mostly because of the elephants, that frequent the area, especially in the dry season.
The park is also an important habitat for the two endemic monkeys of Sri Lanka, Purple-faced Langur and the Toque Macaque. Large herbivorous mammals such as the Sri Lankan Sambar Deer and Sri Lankan Axis Deer also frequent the park. Rare and endangered species such as the Sri Lankan Leopard and Sloth Bear also inhabit Minneriya. Minneriya is also one of areas that the Gray Slender Loris is reportedly found.
The Minneriya reservoir is an important habitat for large water birds such as the Lesser Adjutant, the Painted Stork, and the Spot-billed Pelican. Minneriya is a dormitory for many resident as well as migrant bird species. Instances of a flock of 2,000 Little Cormorants have been reported.
The Great White Pelican, Ruddy Turnstone and Grey Heron are the other water birds that can be seen here. Among the endemic birds are Sri Lanka Jungle fowl, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Brown-capped Babbler, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Black-crested Bulbul and Crimson-fronted Barbet also frequent the Minneriya National Park. The park is 182 kilometres (113 miles) from Colombo.


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