Location: Eastern Province | Sri Lanka
Nearest City: Pottuvil
Nearest Airport: Bandaranayake Airport
Coordinates: 6°53′N 81°40′E
Area: 1,554 ha
Established: October 31, 1980
Governing Body: Department of Wildlife Conservation
Country: Sri Lanka | South Asia
Most Popular: Elephant
Where is It?
Lahugala Kitulana National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s smallest national parks. Despite its small size, the park is an important home for Sri Lankan elephants and unique Sri Lankan birds. The reservoirs of Lahugala, Kitulana, and Sengamuwa are located within the national park and eventually empty into the Heda Oya river. On July 1, 1966, it was classified as a wildlife refuge. On October 31, 1980, the protected area was elevated to the status of national park. When there, stay tight to your tour guide and listen to the wildlife specialists as they lead you through the routes where you will experience the wonders of wildlife in Sri Lanka.
This park contains three tanks: Lahugala, Kitulana, and Sengamuwa, which eventually merge to form Hedaoya. The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society has started a project to build an electric fence to safeguard four villages along the park’s southern perimeter. The most serious threats to the park are poaching, logging, fuel-wood gathering, and grazing. Lower Uva basin development is a potential hazard to the park since it would increase agricultural area, isolating the park and its elephant herd. A jungle corridor is being proposed to connect the park to the national parks of Gal Oya and Kumana. Environmentalists criticized a proposed canal that would have passed through the park. They stated that allowing construction not just within the park but also beyond one kilometer from the park is illegal.
Best Time To Visit
November & December
Wildlife You Might See
Wild Species knowledge is quite sparse, and therefore represents a significant opportunity for any future researcher to investigate the area and conduct ecological research in order to determine the presence of wild species in the area. If anyone is interested, please share your findings with us so that we may incorporate them into this page in order to educate our future generation.
Average rainfall is about 1,650 millimeters (65 in)
The lowest and highest temperatures are about 27 Celsius [January] and 33 Celsius [May]
Elephants have long used this national park as a feeding site. A herd of 150 individuals is drawn to the Lahugala tank by the Sacciolepis interrupta grass. Other mammals found in the park include the endemic toque macaque, tufted gray langur, sloth bear, golden jackal, rusty-spotted cat, fishing cat, Sri Lanka leopard, wild boar, Indian muntjac, Sri Lankan axis deer, Sri Lankan sambar deer, Indian pangolin, and Indian hare.
The great white pelican, purple heron, painted stork, lesser adjutant, Anas spp., white-bellied sea eagle, grey-headed fish eagle, common kingfisher, stork-billed kingfisher, and white-throated kingfisher are among the many wetland birds found in Lahugala Kitulana. The marsh has also been visited by a spotted pelican, an Asian openbill, and a woolly-necked stork. The final documented sighting of the knob-billed duck, which is now presumed to be extinct in Sri Lanka, occurred here. The park is home to two rare birds: the red-faced malkoha and the Sri Lanka spurfowl.
Endemic The national park’s amphibians include Bufo atukoralei, Fejervarya limnocharis, Polypedates maculatus, Banded bull frog, and Microhyla rubra. Among the prominent reptiles are the Python molurus, Rat snake, Chrysopelea spp., Boiga spp., Dryophis spp., and Russell’s viper. Melanochelys trijuga and Lissemys punctata are two freshwater turtles that live in Lahugala’s tank. Clarias brachysoma, an endangered fish species, also lives in the tank.
The vegetation of the national park is classed as Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests. Elephants feed primarily on the dominant grass species sacciolepis interrupta. Drypetes sepiaria, manilkara hexandra, berrya cordifolia, vitex pinnata, chloroxylon swietenia, and the golden shower tree are among the park’s common floral species.
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