Fauna of Sri Lanka

Wildlife of Sri Lanka includes its flora and fauna and their natural habitats. Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of biological endemism (16% of the fauna and 23% of flowering plants are endemic[1]) in the world even though it is relatively small.

Ecological zones

The mountains and the southwestern part of the country, known as the "wet zone," receive ample rainfall (an annual average of 2500 millimeters). Most of the southeast, east, and northern parts of the country comprise the "dry zone, which receives between 1200 and 1900 mm of rain annually. The mountains and the southwestern part of the country, known as the "wet zone," receive ample rainfall (an annual average of 2500 millimeters). Most of the southeast, east, and northern parts of the country comprise the "dry zone, which receives between 1200 and 1900 mm of rain annually.

Fauna


Mammals

Sri Lanka is home to roughly 91 species of mammals, 41 of which are threatened (9 critically). 16 of the species are endemic, of which 14 are threatened,[2] including the large Sloth Bear, the endemic Sri Lanka Leopard and Sri Lankan Elephant and the Sambar. Bats have the highest amount of species (out of 200 mammalian orders), with 30 different species. Sri Lanka's surrounding waters are home to 26 species of Cetaceans.

Reptiles

Sri Lanka currently contains 171 species of reptiles, of which 56 are threatened and 101 are endemic. Most of the reptiles are snakes and the largest are two species of Crocodile, the Mugger crocodile and Saltwater Crocodile.[2]

Amphibians

Sri Lanka has one of the richest diversity of amphibians in the world, containing over 106 species of amphibians (over 90 of which are endemic)[2] and has been claimed to have the highest amphibian species density in the world[3] though that has been challenged.[4] 52 species of amphibians in Sri Lanka are threatened, all but one of which are endemic.

Birds

Sri Lanka is home to 227 species of birds (though some past estimates put it as high as 486[5]), 46 of which are threatened (10 critically).[2]

Fish

Sri Lanka contains 82 species of freshwater fish, of which 28 are threatened.[2]

Butterflies

245 butterflies species are recorded from Sri Lanka of which 24 are endemic to the island

Main article: List of butterflies of Sri Lanka


Molluscs

There is known over 246 land gastropods of Sri Lanka.[6][7] Fauna of Sri Lanka also include freshwater snails. The number of marine molluscs of Sri Lanka is not known and there is about 240 species listed meantime in 2006.[8]

Scorpions

Main article: List of scorpions of Sri Lanka

There are 18 species of scorpions which are found in Sri Lanka. Out of these 18 species, 7 species are endemic to Sri Lanka. In addition to the endemic species, 4 subspecies of the 9 non-endemic species are also endemic to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan scorpions are included in 3 families.

  1. Family Buthidae
  2. Family Chaerilidae
  3. Family Scorpionidae
  • Buthoscorpio sarasinorum – - Not endemic
  • Charamus laneaus – - Endemic
  • Isometrus acanthurus
    • Isometrus acanthurus loeble - Not endemic
  • Isometrus basilicus - Endemic
  • Isometrus besucheti - Endemic
  • Isometrus garyi - Endemic
  • Isometrus loebli - Endemic
  • Isometrus maculatus - Not endemic
  • Isometrus thurstoni - Not endemic
  • Isometrus thwaitsei - Endemic
  • Lychas ceylonensis - Endemic
  • Lychas srilankanensis - Endemic
  • Chaerilus ceylonensis - Endemic
  • Heterometrus gravimanus - Endemic
  • Heterometrus indus
    • Heterometrus indus indus - Not endemic
  • Heterometrus spinifer
    • Heterometrus spinifer solitarium - Not endemic
  • Heterometrus swammerdami
    • Heterometrus swammerdami titanicus - Not endemic
  • Hottentotta tamulus - Not endemic

Flora

Diversity and endemism of plants in Sri Lanka are quite high.[9] There are 3,210 flowering plants belonging to 1,052 genera. 916 species and 18 genera are endemic to the island. Additionally, all but one of the island’s more than 55 dipterocarps are confined to Sri Lanka. Although not lately assessed, Sri Lanka’s ferns are estimated at about 350 species. Diversity, richness, and endemism across all taxa groups are much higher in the wet zone than in the dry zone. Wet zone, which accounts for only a quarter of Sri Lanka’s land area, harbours 88 percent of the flowering plants, and 95 percent of country's flowering plant endemics. The natural forests of Sri Lanka are categorized into eight types.[10]

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Herat, T. R. Somaratna, S & Pradeepa, 1998, Common Vegetables of Sri Lanka. NARESA, Sri Lanka.
  • Herat, T. R. 2005. Tentative Keys to the Families & Genera of Pteridophytes of Sri Lanka. Author Publisher.
  • Herat, T. R. P. Ratnayake. 2005 An Illustrated Guide to the Fern Flora of Knuckles Conservation Area Sri Lanka. Author Publisher.
  • Herat, T. R. 2005. Endemic Flowering Plants, Part I A Checklist & an Index to A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon. Author Publisher.
  • Herat, T. R. 2007. Endemic Flowering Plants of Sri Lanka Part II A, Index to the Distribution of Plants with Localities. Environmental Ministry Colombo.
  • Herat, T. R. 2007 Endemic Flowering Plants of Sri Lanka Part II B, Index to the Distribution within Agro Ecological Zones. Environmental Ministry Colombo.
  • Herat, T. R. A. U. Herat, 2008. Index to the Distribution of Ferns & Fern-Allies within the Administrative Districts of Sri Lanka. Author Publisher.
  • Herat, T. R. 2009. YS%, dxlSh imqIaml Ydl i|yd jQ isxy, fmdoq kdu iQpsh’ Author Publisher.

External links

  • A guide to reptiles of Sri Lanka
  • Biological diversity in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.