Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Sinharaja Forest Reserve, located in the south-west lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka, is the last sustainable tropical rainforest area that is left. Majority of the area was officially considered as a forest reserve in 1875, and also announced as a biosphere reserve in 1978. Sri Lanka has 830 endemic species of trees, out of which 217 are found here in Sinharaja. Some valuable plants found in this forest include the Palm (used for jaggery), cardamom, dun (used for varnish and incense), wewal, & weniwal (used for medicinal purposes).
A common feature in the forest is Endemism. Leopard and Indian elephant are considered threatened mammals. Sri Lanka wood pigeon, white-headed starling, green-billed coucal, ashy-headed babbler, blue magpie, & red-faced malkoha are endangered bird species. Sri Lanka broad-billed roller is of particular interest. Pythons can also be found. Some of the rarest species include the rough-nose horned lizard and a microhylid. Combtail, black ruby barb, smooth-breasted snakehead, red-tail goby, & cherry barb are species of endangered freshwater fish.
Sinharaja is a deeply respected forest, and the name itself means Sinha (means lion), raja (means king). There are 2 villages within this land area, consisting of about 52 families. About 60% of the trees are endemic. Sinharaja was declared a UNESCO world heritage site on 21 October, 1988.
Central Highlands of Sri Lanka
The south-central highlands of Sri Lanka consist of the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, Knuckles Conservation Forest, & Horton Plains National Park. At the highest points, certain mountains reach heights of 2,500m above sea-level, and comprises of some amazing range of flora & fauna. Some endangered species include slender loris, western-purple-faced-langur, & the leopard. This region is considered a biodiversity hotspot.