Sri Lanka Wildlife and Economy

By | June 29, 2021

Animals and Plants

Small country – great diversity!

Due to the different climatic and landscape zones, the diversity of species in Sri Lanka is great. Animals that live in the rainforest are very different from those on the coast or in the mountains.

There are 240 species of butterflies alone. But also the number of beetle and spider species is enormous, because the different living conditions offer many animals favorable conditions. There are many species that can only be found here, they are endemic.

Elephants on the move

You can see elephants in the wild in Sri Lanka, but they are also used as a means of transport. In the wild, elephants live together in family groups of around 30 animals. Once a year the elephants migrate to a reservoir, the Mineria reservoir, which provides them with water and food, especially in the dry season. If the water level sinks, the ground becomes free, on which grass grows, which the elephants eat.

Sri Lanka’s elephants are forest dwellers. A trunk holds up to 10 liters of water, elephants like to shower and bathe. Without water cooling, they run the risk of drying out or even overheating. This only happens to Asian elephants because their ears are smaller. African elephants give off body heat by means of their large ears, they are better adapted to the heat.

Animal protection in national parks

According to ehotelat, many animals in Sri Lanka live in national parks in which they are protected, for example in Yala National Park. Above all, you can observe many species of birds here, 130 species have already been spotted here. There are water birds like the silver gape, which looks like a stork. It uses its beak like a pair of tweezers. The purple chicken has long toes and uses them to search for food.

Large herbivores such as water buffalo and elephants also seek protection here. Axis deer, which mark their territory with scent glands, can be found just like their natural enemy, the leopard. Some leopards live in the park, 600 across the country, most of them in other national parks in the country. The leopard is one of the species threatened with extinction.

Attention water buffalo!

By the way, there are no tigers and lions in Sri Lanka. But there are many large swamp crocodiles that sometimes hunt larger mammals that get too close to the water, such as water buffalo. They can be up to five meters long. However, the crocodiles do not dare to approach elephants.

And what else lives there?

There are also monitor lizards and giant snakes, such as the tiger python. The sloths, who like to just hang out in trees, look very cozy. The white-bearded langurs, a species of monkey that is a slender monkey, are native to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Wildlife

Plants in Sri Lanka

The plant species that grow from north to south differ depending on the climate. Where it rains a lot, you will find tropical rainforests. But there are also regions in which there is less forest and typical bush vegetation.

Unfortunately, a lot of forest has also been cut down in Sri Lanka in order to cultivate crops such as tea, rice, tobacco, coffee, coconut or aromatic plants such as cinnamon or turmeric. The original plants only grow on a third of the land. This disturbed the ecological balance. A typical tree that grows in Sri Lanka is the bodhi tree. It is also called the poplar fig.


What is produced in Sri Lanka?

The island is famous for its tea cultivation. The Ceylon tea is all over the world exports and Sri Lanka is among the countries that perform most tea. It is named after the country’s earlier name, namely Ceylon.

Clothing, gemstones, tobacco and the various coconut products are also among the exported goods. Then there are machines, leather, ceramics and toys. Sri Lanka is conveniently located in the middle of the sea and is a transport hub.

By the way, coffee was also grown in Sri Lanka in earlier times. A fungal attack destroyed the coffee stocks, which never really recovered. So a Scot named James Taylor got the idea to try growing tea. This was back in 1870 and tea has been grown in Sri Lanka ever since.

The sustainable coconut palm

Almost all parts of the coconut palm can be used. The fibers of the shells are used as fillers in mattresses. Or you can turn them into doormats. These are coconut floor mats, you have probably seen them with us before, they scratch a lot when you step on them barefoot.

Working on a tea plantation

Well connected!

The transport network in Sri Lanka is very well developed. There are several airports and a very well developed rail network, so that you can also get around the country by rail. Then there is the bus network, which is mainly used by the local population. The ports are primarily used to export goods around the world.