Herds of elephants and other exciting wildlife
Wasgamuwa is one of the protected areas where Sri Lankan Elephants can be seen in large herds. It is also one of the Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka. The National Park’s annual daily temperature is 28 °C (82 °F) and has a dry zone climate. Rain is received during the north-eastern monsoon, from October to January. July–September is the dry season. Highest elevation of the National Park is Sudu Kanda (White mountain), which is 470 metres (1,540 ft) of height. The soil of the national park contains quartz and marble. The forests of Wasgamuwa represent Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests. The park consists of primary, secondary, riverine forests and grasslands.
Ruins of Malagamuwa, Wilmitiya, Dasthota irrigation tanks and Kalinga Yoda Ela canal which are built by Parakramabahu I remain in the national park. In the past water was irrigated from the Minipe anicut left bank canal to Parakrama Samudra by Amban ganga which had run through Wasgamuwa.
Wasgamuwa National Park exhibits one of the highest biodiversity among the protected areas in Sri Lanka. More than 150 floral species have recorded from the park. Cryptocoryne walkeri and Munronia pumila are two plants with economic value. Reservoirs and riverine forests support large number of fauna species. The forest consists of several layers.
Wasgamuwa National Park is home to 23 species of mammals. The park is inhabited by a herd of 150 Sri Lankan elephants. Marsh elephant (Elephas maximus vil-aliya) roams in the Mahaweli river area. Both monkeys found in the park, purple-faced langur and toque macaque, are endemic to Sri Lanka. While water buffalo and Sri Lankan axis deer are common to observe, Sri Lanka leopard and sloth bear are rare. Small golden palm civet is another rare endemic mammal.
The number of bird species recorded from the park is 143. This includes 8 endemic species. Endemic red-faced malkoha is a resident bird in this national park. Sri Lanka junglefowl is another endemic bird inhabits the park. Lesser adjutant, yellow-fronted barbet, and Sri Lanka spurfowl are the species that visit the reservoirs and streams of the national park. Peafowl, painted stork, black-headed ibis and Eurasian spoonbill are the park’s other aquatic birds. Rare Sri Lanka frogmouth can be found here. Another rare species, chestnut-winged cuckoo, is seen near the Mahaweli river.
Endemic and endangeredFejervarya pulla is one of the eight species of amphibians of the park. Of 17 reptile species recorded in the park, five species are endemic. Water monitor and mugger crocodile are common in the water bodies of the park. Skinks Lankascincusspp., lizards Calotes ceylonensis and Otocryptis wiegmanni, and serpent Chrysopelea taprobanica are the endangered reptile species. Endemic Garra ceylonensis and combtail are among the 17 fish species reside in the aquatic habitats of the park. Of the park’s 50 butterflies, eight species are endemic