About Hikkaduwa

A marine national park in Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa National Park, is one of three in the country. The coral reef that encircles the national park has a high degree of diversity. On May 18, 1979, the area was designated a wildlife sanctuary, and on August 14, 1988, it was upgraded to a nature reserve with an expanded land area. Increased tourism in the next 25 years has contributed to coral reef depletion. On September 19, 2002, the Great Barrier Reef was designated a national park in an effort to protect the ecosystem.

Important Facts

Location: Southern province | Sri Lanka
Nearest City: Hikkaduwa
Nearest Airport: Bandaranayake Airport | Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 6°08′42″N 80°05′33″E
Area: 101.6 ha
Established: September 19, 2002
Governing Body: Department of Wildlife Conservation
Country: Sri Lanka | Asia
Status: Open
Most Popular: Fish | Corals

Where is it Hikkaduwa?

Route to Hikkaduwa from Katunayake
Route to Hikkaduwa from Katunayake

Coral Reef

With an average depth of about 5 meters, the coral reef at Hikkaduwa is a typical shallow fringe reef (16 ft). The coral reef acts as a natural breakwater and reduces coastal erosion.  The national park’s coast is four kilometers long. Generally, the coast is only 5–50 m wide, depending on the year’s climatic conditions. Scuba diving is a popular pastime in this part of Mexico.

Physical Features

In the wet zone, this national park receives an average of 79 inches of rain per year. During the southwestern and northeastern monsoon seasons, between April and June and September and November respectively, rainfalls. A dry period during the inter-monsoon season is the best time to visit the park. Between 28.0° and 30.0°C is the water temperature while the average annual temperature is 27°C.

“Hikkaduwa National Park is one of three marine national parks in Sri Lanka. The coral reef that encircles the park has a high degree of diversity. A dry period during the inter-monsoon season is the best time to visit the park.”

Flora and Fauna

Many of the coral reef’s trees are foliaceous Montipora species. There are also encrusting and branching species. Massive colonies of Faviidae and Poritidae corals can be found in the reef’s inshore areas. A wide variety of coral species can be found on the reef, including staghorn and elkhorn, cabbage, brain, table, and star corals. Species from 60 genera and 31 species have been found on the reef. More than 170 species of reef fish belonging to 76 genera were found on the reef.

Halimeda and Caulerpa algae are common in the seabed depth range of 5–10 m, where seagrass and algae belong to the genera. Dugongs and sea turtles rely on seagrasses for food and shelter. Prawns eat seagrass in some species. Ornamental fish species number eight, and the reef is home to a wide variety of other animals and invertebrates, such as crabs, prawn and shrimp as well as oysters and sea worms. In Sri Lanka, the endemic coral Porites desilveri can be found only in this area.  There are only two species of reef fish found in Sri Lanka, Pomacentrus proteus and Chlorurus rhakoura. The outer slope of the reef is home to blacktip reef sharks. The hawksbill, green, and olive ridley sea turtles are all frequent visitors to the coral reef. 

“Hikkaduwa is one of three marine national parks in Sri Lanka. The coral reef that encircles the national park has a high degree of diversity. A wide variety of coral species can be found on the reef, including staghorn and elkhorn, cabbage, brain, table, and star corals. Scuba diving is a popular pastime in this part of Mexico. More than 170 species of reef fish belonging to 76 genera were found on the reef.”

Threats

Due to both natural and man-made factors, the reef has been severely degraded. A 1998 El Nio-induced coral bleaching event reduced the live coral cover from 47 percent to 13 percent. In order for the coral reef to be able to sustain itself, it has been recommended that at least 30-40 percent of the reef be restored. As a protected area, the coral reef has been continually exploited, including the removal of breeding ornamental fish for the commercial market.

A Boxing Day Tsunami Occurred in 2004

The Boxing Day tsunami had little effect on Sri Lanka’s Hikkaduwa and Pigeon Island marine national parks. However, the reefs were harmed by secondary impacts, such as the deposit of terrestrial debris. Beach and reef debris, including two large fishing nets that had become lodged in the reef, were cleaned up by conservation groups and volunteers in a joint effort.

 “The coral reef has been severely degraded due to both natural and man-made factors. A 1998 El Nio-induced coral bleaching event reduced the live coral cover from 47% to 13%. The Boxing Day tsunami had little effect on Sri Lanka’s Hikkaduwa and Pigeon Island marine national parks.”

Best Places to Stay

For those who plan a trip to Sri Lanka, we recommend booking your accommodations through our partner ” Booking.com,” which allows us to earn a portion of the revenue generated by your booking which helps us to the creation of high-quality content like this. Even if you are unwilling to do so, you can still enjoy the article and learn something you may not have known before.

Booking.com

Where to Find A Professional

If you want to book our Travel professional for your trip, then please see what is available for you from Share Traveller Travel Professionals. Hope our experienced travel professionals make your life comfortable with minimal cost. Let’s experience a new dimension of the Travel Industry.

Comments

  • admin

    5

Translate »

Sign In

Register

Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.