16 Desember 2011

Kumana National Park – A Haven for Bird Lovers

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Kumana National Park is a park located on the south eastern coast of Sri Lanka, and is renowned for its avian inhabitants. The area is actually contiguous with the famous Yala National Park and it was once called the Yala East National Park, until the name was changed in 2006. Spanning an area of over 35,000 hectares, Kumana National Park was established in 1970. It was closed in 1985 because of the country’s civil war but was reopened to the public in 2003. There are around 20 lagoons and tanks that help support the avifauna here.

The park's topography can be divided into two distinct regions; the wetland areas that thrive with life and are covered with karan ferns and mangrove trees and the dry zones that are covered in thorn forests. The Kumana Villu is one of the most significant features of the park. The 200 hectare swamp lake is fed by the Kumbukkan Oya through a narrow channel, and the swamp is sometimes flooded with seawater. Nevertheless, it is a spot bustling with life and visitors will be able to witness a variety of birds.

Kumana is one of the most important bird nesting and breeding sites on the island. The presence of over 250 different species of birds has been recorded here, including such rare birds as the Great Thick-knee, the Eurasian Spoonbill and the Lesser Adjutant. In addition to that, tens of thousands of birds migrate here annually between the months of April and July. The migratory birds include Pintail Snipes, which may fly up to 11,000 kilometres to get here, the Greater Sand Plover and the Little Ringer Plover. However, Kumana Park is not just for the birds, and visitors will also find Indian Black Turtles, Mugger Crocodiles and Indian Flap-shelled Turtles. It is also home to wild boar, a few dozen Sri Lankan elephants and even European otters.

The area is sure to be a hit amongst nature lovers, and tourists visiting Yala should try to fit Kumana Park into their itinerary. Yala is one of the most popular destinations in the country and the right Yala hotel can make a world of difference. Chaaya Wild Yala is a dedicated safari hotel Sri Lanka designed to enhance the experience of the island's enchanting wilderness, while offering luxurious and stylish accommodation options.