Conservation overview of herpetofauna of Sinharaja Man and Biosphere Reserve of Sri Lanka

Thilina D. Surasinghe

Abstract


Sinharaja Man and Biosphere (MAB) Reserve is one of the largest intact rainforest in the southwestern lowlands of Sri Lanka, which is known to be rich in reptile and amphibian diversity. This reserve is a refuge for many taxa of point endemism concerning herpetofauna. Consequently, the Sri Lankan government along with the UNESCO has given a top level of conservation status for Sinharaja forest by nominating it not only as an international MAB reserve but also as a world heritage site. Despite the high priority given to the forest in terms of legislation, the reserve is facing threats due to various human activities, chiefly habitat disturbances. In fact the herpetofaunal diversity in disturbed areas is significantly lower than in the undisturbed areas. This paper investigates the threats encountered by the herpetofauna in the Sinharaja MAB reserve and discusses the management and conservation approaches that would contribute towards the well being of herpetofaunal communities of the reserve.

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