Sri Lanka’s lung, Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve covers ha 36,474.93 of total land of Sri Lanka. In 1989, Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site because of biodiversity and high endemism of Sinharaja. More than 60% of flora and fauna are endemic and most of them are considered endangered or highly endangered whereas bird’s endemism is 95%. This primary rain forest located in three administrative districts which are Galle, Matara and Ratnapura. South-west part of Sri Lanka has become a wet zone because of Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve. Sinharaja is the last viable evergreen tropical rain forest. Earlier size of Sinharaja was ha 11,187 but government extended it to ha 36,474.93 by adding some other forest patches to mainland of Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve.
Before the declaration as a UNESCO world heritage site, Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve was declared as a Forest Reserve in 1875, Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and National heritage wilderness area in 1988. Portuguese, Dutch and English people also have included Sinharaja in their documents for various reasons such as collecting tax from villages who lived near the forest area, to spread their coffee and tea estates, researches which were done about animals and trees in Sinharaja etc…
Borders of Sinharaja Forest Reserve are Napola Dola and Koskulana river on the north, Maha Dola and Gin river on the south and south-west, Kalukandawa stream and Kudawa River on the west, Beverley tea estate on the east.
There are five entrances to Sinharaja Rain Forest. They are Kudawa, Pitadeniya, Kurulugala, Lankagama and Morningside. Kurulugala and Morning shows sub montane characteristics. So fauna and flora of that both entrances are bit different than low land and there are some point endemic species have been found in these two entrances.
Gin Ganga river and Kalu Ganga river are the main rivers which are fed on by water streams in Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve.
Sinharaja Forest ranges between 300m and 1170m above the sea level. Pinipitigala main complex, Pinipitigala west, Pinipitigala east, Mulawella, Pathinigala, Sinhagala(Lions Rock), Kurulugala, Kosgulana, Kohilaarambe, Dothalugala and Thibbottagala are some peaks in Sinharaja.
Annual temperature in Sinharaja is between 190C and 340C and Sinharaja Rain Forest receives 3614mm to 5006mm rainfall annually.
Purple faced leaf monkey, torque macaque, dusky striped squirrel are the most common mammals in Sinharaja. But sambar deer, barking deer, mouse deer, badger mongoose, golden palm civet are few of other mammals who have been sighted seasonally in Sinharaja. Although leopards are also recorded, they are very rare. Two last elephants in Sinharaja can be sighted mostly in eastern part of Sinharaja but both can be sighted occasionally in other parts in Sinharaja too. Birds in Sinharaja take special place among wildlife because of mixed species feeding flocks. Sinharaja Kurulugala entrances is the best entrance to see that special phenomenon. Among reptiles, Green wine snake, Green pit viper, three species of hump-nosed pit vipers are most famous snakes and Hump-nosed lizard and Kangaroo lizard are most famous lizards. Erdelen’s Horned lizard can be seen only in eastern part of Sinharaja and it is point endemic species.