Sinharaja translates as Lion Kingdom, is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve (1978) and World Heritage Site by UNESCO (1988).
The reserve is only 21 km from east to west, and 7 km from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
MAMMALS: There is a small herd of elephants and wild cats (leopards, fishing cat and rusty-spotted cat) the area. The most common larger mammal is the endemic purple-faced langur. Giant squirrel, badger mongoose and endemic purple-faced leaf monkey and torque macaque are also frequently seen.
Reptiles include the endemic green pit viper and hump-nosed vipers, and there are a large variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. Invertebrates include the endemic common birdwing, butterfly and leeches.