Wildlife conservation has a great background in Sri Lanka. According to chronicle history, Srilanka’s first wildlife reserve been established by King Devanampiya Tissa in the third century BC. while many of the national parks and reserves that make up today’s well-protected network date back to colonial times and earlier.
The Department of Wildlife Conservation is the government authority, these protected areas cover almost fifteen percent of the island’s land area and encompass a wide variety of terrains, from the high altitude grasslands of Horton Plains National Park to the coastal wetlands of Bundala. Almost alt harbor a rich selection of wildlife and birds and several are also of outstanding scenic beauty.
Sri Lanka 22 national parks declared by the Department of Wildlife, include two marine parks at Hikkaduwa and Nitaveli (Pigeon Island). The most tourist gatherings are Yala, UdaWalawe, Horton Plains, Bundala, Minneriya and Kaudulla.
There are numerous other protected areas dotted across the island that are run under government supervision. These are categorized variously as nature reserves, strict nature reserves (entry prohibited) and sanctuaries. In general, these places possess important botanical significance but lack the wildlife found in the trackers.