6,216 ha make it a must-see for animal watchers and ecotourists. In 1969, the park was formed to protect the unique environment that may be found there. Since one of the Sri Lanka’s most significant wetland environments, it has become a popular tourist destination. This article will focus on Bundala National Park and explain why it is crucial to protect this beautiful area.
Benefits of the Park
Many threatened plant and animal species may be found in Bundala National Park. Birds migrate from as far away as Siberia and Europe to spend the winter here and reproduce. Sea turtles use the park as a breeding ground, making it a crucial spot for their protection. Tourism boosts the local economy and makes the park a valued resource.
Taking Care of Our Planet’s Natural Resources
Every year, more people visit the park, making the preservation of its natural form more crucial than ever. This includes making sure that human activities inside the park are sustainable and taking care of the park’s varied ecosystems. The park has limited people and cars and promotes ecotourism with a lower environmental effect.
Location and history of Bundala National Park
Location of the park
Bundala National Park may be found in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province, namely in the Hambantota area. The park is readily accessible by road and is located around 245 kilometers southeast of Colombo, the country’s capital. It spans 6,216 ha between the bund of the Kirindi Oya River and the shore of the Indian Ocean. The park is a key component of the Greater Yala ecosystem, which ranks among Sri Lanka’s top protected places.
Historical background of the park
Prehistoric items found in Bundala National Park suggest a rich history. Numerous trade and commerce artifacts have been found. In the 19th century, the British colonial government declared the area a hunting reserve, almost eradicating several species.
Sri Lanka declared the area a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 to protect its natural environment and animals. It became a national park in 1993.
During the Sri Lankan Civil War, the park was closed for safety. Once the violence ended in 2009, the park reopened and renovations began.
In 2005, the park was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance for waterfowl. This categorization highlights the park’s importance and conservation efforts.
The park is one of Sri Lanka’s most visited wetland habitats. To keep it a home for native species, the park’s management preserves its natural state.
Changes in the park over time
Bundala National Park has completed significant conservation and tourist facility improvements. Significant park modifications include:
- Bundala Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a national park in 1993 to safeguard its unique biodiversity and boost ecotourism.
- The park management has constructed observation platforms, safari vehicle routes, and nicer facilities in recent years.
- Waterfowl habitat made the park a 2005 Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.
- Community Involvement: The park administration actively involves the adjacent community in conservation, employment, and regional sustainable development.
- Have a contingency plan.
- Security concerns shuttered the park during the Sri Lankan Civil War. The park was renovated after the conflict ended in 2009.
Biodiversity and Wildlife of Bundala National Park
The various habitats found in the park
- Bundala National Park features rich animals. The park features vital ecosystems.
- The park’s lagoons, salt flats, and marshes are notable.
- The park is a dry mixed evergreen forest. These woods house elephants, deer, and monkeys.
- The park’s coastal scrub rain forest has spiky plants and little trees. Scrub jungles have gray langurs and palm civets.
- The park’s sand dunes support wildlife. Cacti, lizards, snakes.
- Turtles nest on park beaches. Loggerhead and green turtles rule the park.
- Salterns dot the park. Feeding flamingos, pelicans, and storks.
- Bundala National Park has uncommon or extinct animals. Park animals.
- Asiatic elephants live in Bundala.
- Saltwater and mugger crocodiles inhabit the park’s marshes.
- 200 native and migratory bird species draw ornithologists to the area. Pelicans, herons, storks, eagles, and ospreys are examples.
- Spotted and sambar deer roam the park’s meadows and woodlands.
- The park’s scrub forest and meadows host wild boar populations.
- The park features Russell’s viper, Indian cobra, monitor lizard, and Indian python.
- Green and loggerhead turtles nest on park beaches.
Importance of the park for bird watching
One of Sri Lanka’s best birding spots, Bundala National Park boasts approximately 200 bird species, both permanent and seasonal. The park’s marshes, salt pans, and lagoons are important habitats for pelicans, herons, storks, and flamingos. The park has raptors, including eagles, hawks, and ospreys.
The park’s Bundala Bird Sanctuary protects endangered and unique birds such as the Sri Lanka jungle fowl, gray horn bill, and wood pigeon. The refuge breeds important birds like the tiny tern and Indian pratincole.
Birdwatchers visit the park to witness rare and diverse species in their native habitats. The park’s observation towers and walkways are great for birdwatchers and photographers.
BirdLife International has designated Bundala National Park an important bird and biodiversity area, confirming the park’s importance for birding.
Activities of Bundala National park
The various activities offered in the park
Tourists may enjoy a variety of activities at Bundala National Park’s beautiful environment and various fauna. This article describes the following park attractions:
- Jeep safaris into the park’s interior woodlands, ponds, and meadows to see elephants, crocodiles, and deer are popular.
- The park is a birdwatcher’s delight with over 200 resident and visiting bird species. This park offers guided and unguided birding.
- Learn about the park’s ecosystems and residents on a guided nature walk.
- In the park’s beautiful sandy beaches, endangered sea turtles nest. The park provides beach trips to watch turtles and hear about its conservation efforts.
- Tourists may learn about salt harvesting’s economic effect at the park’s salterns.
Safari tours let you see the area’s animals. Tourists love Bundala National Park. The park’s ecology, fauna, and history are explained on vehicle safaris by knowledgeable guides.
Safari-goers saw elephants, crocodiles, spotted deer, sambar deer, wild boars, and water buffalo. Gray langurs, toque macaques, and purple-faced langurs live in the park.
The park has around 200 bird species, including seasonal visitors. Pelicans, herons, storks, and flamingos are regular safari sightings, as are eagles, hawks, and ospreys.
Pack light and wear weatherproof shoes and clothing for a three- to four-hour safari in Bundala National Park. Sunscreen, a hat, and insect spray are essential for travelers.
See the many ecosystems and wildlife of Bundala National Park on a boat tour. There are boat tours that take people through the park’s lagoons and marshes, giving them a unique perspective.
Birdwatchers on board a boat could see pelicans, herons, storks, and flamingos. Many species of fish, reptiles, and mammals make their homes in lagoons and wetlands.
The boat ride across the park is popular for seeing indigenous and visiting birds. Visitors may see birds feeding, nesting, and socializing. The boat ride lets visitors see the park’s animals in their natural environment without bothering them.
The one- to two-hour boat tour of Bundala National Park’s wildlife and environment is conducted by professional rangers. For any outdoor activities, visitors should wear appropriate clothing and footwear, carry sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellent.
Bundala National Park is a popular hiking destination due to the park’s abundance of wildlife and natural beauty. Visitors may explore the park’s nature walks and learn about its flora and fauna from expert rangers.
The trek may reveal elephants, spotted deer, sambar deer, wild boar, and water buffalo. Purple-faced langurs, gray langurs, and toque macaques live in the park.
Every trek in Bundala National Park includes meeting the birds.
Bundala National Park features many easy-to-difficult hiking trails for all ages and fitness levels. For any outdoor activity, guests should wear appropriate clothing and footwear, carry sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellent.
Conservation Efforts of Bundala National park
Bundala National Park is an important conservation region for Sri Lanka, in addition to being a natural paradise for tourists. The government of Sri Lanka has launched many conservation initiatives to save the park’s wildlife:
The park’s administration has instituted a stringent anti-poaching campaign to counter unlawful hunting and poaching. In order to curb illicit hunting and poaching, the program implements frequent patrols, checks, and surveillance.
The park’s research and monitoring program studies ecosystems, animal populations, and biological processes. It is possible to make better management and conservation choices thanks to the data and information provided by the program.
Conclusion about Bundala National park
To conclude, Bundala National Park in southern Sri Lanka is a natural refuge where visitors may see rare animals. The park’s ecosystems shelter around 200 bird species, both permanent and temporary.
Safaris, boat cruises, and walking are ways to see the park’s stunning scenery and unique fauna. Visitors are taught to utilize natural resources responsibly to conserve the park’s ecosystems and biodiversity.