Yala National Park

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yala national park

The Yala National Park is the most popular and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The yala national park is categorised into five five blocks and block 1 is named Ruhunu National Park. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala National Park was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu it was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka.

The mean temperature ranges from 26.4c to 30c and water becomes an important factor during the dry season. The annual mean rain fall ranges from 500 - 775 millimeters.

Moist monsoon forests, dry monsoon forests, semi deciduous forests, thorn forests, grasslands, marshes, marine wetlands, and sandy beaches are some of the Eco-systems can be seen in the yala national park. 

The yala national park is best known for its wide variety of wild animals, that include elephants, leopards, bear, deer, sambur and an array of endemic and migrant bird species.  The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and yala national park safari has become very popular because of the highest leopard densities in the world.

The yala national park is situated in the dry semi-arid climatic region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon. Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. It is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka.

The area around Yala has hosted several ancient civilisations. Two important pilgrim sites, Sithulpahuwa and Magul Vihara, are situated within the park. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami caused severe damage on the Yala National Park but interestingly there were no deaths to any of the animals in the park owing to this disaster.


Check out the other National Parks of Sri Lanka