CRITICALLY ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF SRI LANKA
The diverse island of Sri Lanka is home to many flora and fauna some of it endemic to the island, some of them are critically endangered. The many species of animals range consists of 123 mammals, 526 birds, those who reside on the island and migrate, 9 turtles and tortoises, 104 types of lizards, 2 types of monitors, 104 snake species and 2 types of crocodiles. It is astounding that such a small island be home to this many species of animals.
Many animals live in the wildlife zones such as National Parks, sanctuaries and marked rainforest. There are however many of them that do live on the borders of these parks and even in some cases in the urban cities. With the rapid growth of urbanisation and global warming there is a threat to all wildlife in Sri Lanka which is why the IUCN, the International Union of Conservation of Nature maintains a “red list” that notes down the animals that are at threat of extinction. To fall under the “Critically Endangered” column in the Red List of IUCN the animal needs to meet two criterias: a reduction of less than 80% of the species in the last ten years and a population of under 250 in an area.
The following animals are the most critical endangered in Sri Lanka:
- PURPLE FACED LEAF LUNGER - Western subspecies (Trachypithecus vetulus)
- NELLU RAT (Rattus montanus)
- BLACK NECKED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus asasticus)
- PAINTED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus pictus)
- JUNGLE BUSH QUAIL (Perdicula asiatica)
- YELLOW FOOTED GREEN PIGEON (Treron phoenicopterus)
- SPOT BILLED DUCK (Anus poecilorhyncha)
- SLATY LEGGED CRAKE (Rallina eurizonoides)
- JERDON’S BAZA (Aviceda jerdoni)
- INDIAN COURSER (Cursorius coromandelicus)
- GULL BILLED TERN (Sterna nilotica)
- HOG DEER (Axis porcinus)
- SAUNDER`S TERN (Sterna saundersi)
- BLUE ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
- BLUE EARED KINGFISHER (Alcedo meninting).
Research shows that critically endangered animals are at less threat in the Northern and Eastern provinces, probably due to the lack of urbanisation and number of people in those areas. With greater understanding of how to preserve animals as individuals we can contribute to the welfare and preservation of these creatures.
By introducing heaving penalties for poaching, action against deforestation, urban planning and respecting the nature around can we as a whole stop the extinction of the animals listed below and others who may join this dreaded list.