Monday, May 19, 2008

Kanneliya forest

The entire forest of Kanneliya is spread out over 10139.3 hectares. The forest complex occupies the interfluves between two rivers - the Gin Ganga and the Nilvala Ganga, which consists of a series of ridges and valleys and an elevation ranging from 60-425M above mean sea level. The mean monthly temperature is around 27 degrees Celsius with a diurnal range of 4-5 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature has been recorded during mid May, while the annual rainfall in Kanneliya is around 3750 mm. The Kanneliya forest as a whole is amongst the most important natural forests in the Southern Province because of its role in protecting the head waters of the Gin and Nilvala, which is critically important for the socio-economic development in Galle and Matara districts. Floristically, this region is identified as one of the richest areas in South Asia. There is a high proportion of endemism among the identified woody plants, with 159 species belonging to 94 genera and 41 families being endemic to Sri Lanka. Some 220 faunal species with 41 endemics have been recorded from the KDN (Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya) and adjacent forests. Majority of the 20 endemic birds in Sri Lanka are restricted to the rain forests of the Southwest. Large numbers of medicinal plants are also found in the KDN forest complex. Some of these plants are • Weniwelgata – Concinium fenestratum • Kudahedaya – Lycopodium Squarrosum • Maha hedaya – Lycopodium phlegmaria • Kothala Himbutu – Salacia reticulate • Rasakinda – Tinopora cordifolia

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Note by Jagath Dheerasekara : Statistics of this write up are subject to verification by independent sources of experts.

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