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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2018
Headline for Flora and Fauna at Yala National Park - Wildlife and wild flowers
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Flora and Fauna at Yala National Park - Wildlife and wild flowers

This national park is one of the most visited destinations on the island, both by locals and tourists. The rarely seen animals and flowers make this place interesting for both children and adults. 🌴🐯

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Highlights

Highlights

Being the second largest national park in the country, this park in Yala has its share of visitors throughout the year and the biggest attractions are the leopards and the elephants. The feeding and bathing routines are the best times to see the elephants and the children would cherish those memories for life. 🐘🐯

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Flora at Yala

Flora at Yala

Photo : Patty Ho Uploaded on Wikimedia Commons by Lkcl_it, Yala National Park (Sri Lanka 2012), CC BY 2.0

Block I includes large grassland, tanks, water holes, lagoons, chena lands and some mangroves.

Block II is not very different from Block I and was once a fertile paddy. The Rhizophora mucronata, Sonneratia caseolaris, Aegiceras corniculatum and Avicennia can be found in these mangroves.

Block III is widespread and has a large forest area that houses Drypetes sepiaria and the Manilkara hexandra plant types.

Block IV has the Pitiya grassland which is extremely vital for the grazing animals. It also has the Zoysia matrella, Manilkara hexandra, Drypetes sepiria, Ceylon Satinwood, Terminalia arjuna, Limonia and Berrya cordifolia.

The Neem, Banyan, Toothbrush tree, Bell mimosa, Carissa spinarum, Euphorbia anti-quorum and Acacia eburnean can be found in Block V. This block has the most unique collection of trees and plants in all of Yala National Park.

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Fauna at Yala - Birds

Fauna at Yala - Birds

Thimindu Goonatillake, Brown Shrike - Yala National Park, CC BY-SA 2.0

The birds at the park exceed an impressive 250 species and Yala has been named one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Sri Lanka.

Seven types of birds in the park are endemic to the island, namely, the Sri Lanka grey hornbill, Sri Lanka jungle fowl, Sri Lanka wood pigeon, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Black-capped Bulbul, blue-tailed bee-eater and Brown-capped Babbler. 🐦

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Fauna at Yala - Mammals

Fauna at Yala - Mammals

Photo Β© Mahoora Tented Safari Camps

Including the Sri Lankan leopard, there are 44 types of mammals in the park and some of these animals are endangered too. The sloth bears, elephants, leopards and wild water buffaloes are the most protected and threatened mammals here.

The other mammals that are commonly sighted within the park are the toque macaque, golden palm civet, red slender loris and fishing cat.

Visitors, adventurers and nature lovers who want to stay back and observe the animals in their natural habitats after dark can do so with the help of specially set up camps like the Mahoora Tented Safari Camps.

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Fauna at Yala - Reptiles

Fauna at Yala - Reptiles

There are 6 endemic reptiles in the enclosure and along the coastal line, all 5 globally endangered sea turtles can be found, and they are the leatherback turtle, olive ridley, loggerhead sea turtle, hawksbill and the green turtle. The park also boasts of two breeding crocodile types, they mugger crocodile, and the saltwater crocodile. 🐍

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Fauna at Yala - Fish

Fauna at Yala - Fish

Père Igor, Etroplus maculatus Pierrefitte-Nestalas Aquarium, CC BY-SA 3.0

There are many lakes and ponds within the national park and in those waters; you can find about 21 types of fresh water fishes. The Blackspot barb, orange chromide, olive barb and common spiny loach are the ones that are commonly sighted. 🐠

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