Detached from the mainland, served by intersecting monsoons, wide range of altitudes have given an advantage to Sri Lanka that is normally enjoyed across an entire continent. Mihintale was the first national reserve when created in third century BC. Now the country is imbeded with about 100 national reserves, of which the below are most populor.
Yala West (Ruhuna) National Park:
Located in southeast, established on February 25th, 1938 covering 979 Sq kilometers is one of Asia's best for mammals. Hosts about 30 leopards, aprt from sloth bears, sambar, spotted deer, buffalow, wild boar, mongoose, langur monkey, toque monkey, golden jackal, etc.
Uda Walawe National Park:
Established on June 30th, 1972 covering an area of 308 Sq kilometers, primarily to preserve the watershed of Uda Walawe Reservoir is home to large heard of Asian Elephants. Apart from these one can spot changeable hawk eagle, serpent eagle, great headed fish eagle.
Wasgomuwa National Park:
Established in North Central Province on August 07th, 1984 over 371 Sq kilometers dry lowland is rich with all big animals though bear and leopards are considered very elusive. However, the elephants are wild and unpredictable.
Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve:
Located in southwest is the premier rainforest of the country housing rare species of trees. Found also are six endemic birds may make up one flock including species like malkoha, green billed coucal, blue magpie. Animals found are leopard, purple faced langur, barking deer, and 3 types of squirrel.
Established on March 16th, 1988 in the Central Province covering 32 Sq kilometers is the highest plateau rich with cloud forest. Encountered here are whistling thrush, bush warbler, and dwarf lizards.