Author- Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne
Publisher – John Beaufoy Publishing Limited
The diversity of wildlife in Sri Lanka is in complete contrast to its size. With Asian Elephants, Leopards, Sloth Bears, Blue and Sperm Whales at one end of the scale, and dragonflies and butterflies at the other, this relatively small island offers a huge range of amazing opportunities for year-round wildlife watching. The numbers of endemic species are equally impressive with 34 bird species, 21 mammals, 23 butterflies, 38 freshwater fish and over half of the 124 dragonflies.
In the introductory chapter, Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne provides an overview of the top marine and terrestrial wildlife. The disproportionately high biodiversity on the island is related to physical factors that are explained in the second chapter on the environment.
At the heart of the book, chapter 3 on Sri Lanka’s flora and fauna and chapter 4 on whales, dolphins and seabirds, give details of the characteristics of all of the primates, birds, reptiles, butterflies, dragonflies, pelagic species, trees and plants from the scent making by Leopards to the flipper slapping and waving of the Humpback whale.
Many of the best places to see this rich wildlife are the major national parks and reserves, which are covered in the final chapter. For each one Gehan describes the type of habitat and the wildlife that can be found there as well as giving details on how to access the parks and the accommodation available nearby.
Interspersed throughout the book are extracts from a ‘Naturalist’s Journal’ in which Gehan gives a personal account of encounters with key species.
Wild Sri Lanka combines general overviews with specific details, concise portraits of individual species with enticing habitat descriptions to give a full and informative picture of the amazing wildlife of the country, whose compact area gives the possibility of seeing the full range of species both conveniently and successfully.
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