Vertebrate diversity in a thirty year old analogue forest in Pitigala, Elpitiya, in the Galle District of Southern Sri Lanka

S. N. Gamage, W. K. D. D. Liyanage, A. Gunawardena, S. Wimalasuriya


Most of the natural ecosystems in the wet zone are severely fragmented and interspersed between human managed agro ecosystems and home gardens. There is growing evidence that traditional agro-ecosystems contribute to sustain the regional biodiversity of many invertebrate and vertebrate species. Analogue forest as a concept is accepted by agronomists and conservationists, which would bring profits in the long-term sustainable basis. The Bangamukanda Estate is an example of a 18 hectares plantation (tea, rubber and cinnamon) that has been converted into an analogue forest. Objective of the study was to assess the current vertebrate diversity in this 30-year-old analogue forest. Total of 206 species of vertebrates belonging to 74 families were observed during the study period, out of that 58 species were endemic to Sri Lanka. The findings of the survey clearly highlighted the contribution of analogue forest systems towards sustaining a rich biodiversity. In addition analogue forest systems can be used to link the forest patches in the wet zone.

Full Text:



Brookes, T.M., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., Fonseca, G.A.B.Da, Rylands, A.B., Konstant, W.R., Flick, P., Pilgrim, J., Oldfield, S., Magin, G. & Hilton- Taylor, C. (2002). Habitat loss and extinction in the hotspots of biodiversity. Conservation Biology. 16: 909-923.

Bambaradeniya, C.N.B. (Editor). (2006). Fauna of Sri Lanka: status of Taxonomy, Research & Conservation. The World Conservation Union, Colombo, Sri Lanka & Government of Sri Lanka. Viii + 308pp.

Corbert, G.B. & Hill, J.E. (1992). Mammals of the Indomalayan Region: A systematic Review. Oxford University, Oxford, UK.

Deraniyagala, P.E.P. (1949). Some vertebrate animals of Ceylon. National Museum Pictorial Series, 1: 1-41.

De Silva A. (1990). Colour Guide to the Snakes of Sri Lanka. R & A Publishing Ltd., Avon, England, 130pp.

Dutta, S.K., & Manamendra-Arachchi, K. (1996). The Amphibian fauna of Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage trust of Sri Lanka, Colombo, 280pp.

Earles, R. (2005). Sustainable Agriculture: An Introduction Publication of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. USA.

Fauth, J.E., Crother, B.I. & Slowinski, J.B. (1989). Elevational patterns of richness, evenness, and abundance of the Costa Rican leaf litter herpetofauna. Biotropica 21(2): 55-73.

Gamage, S.N. (2000). Fresh water fish diversity and habitat variations in streams under different vegetation in Hiniduma, Sri Lankain . BSc thesis. Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna. Kamburupitiya, Sri Lanka.

Gamage, S.N., Liyanage,W.K.D.D. & Guanawardena, A. (2002). Comparison of fish diversity and the habitat structure of streams in rubber and oil-palm plantations in Nakiyadeniya Galle. Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, Annual Conference 2002, University of Colombo.

Gamage, S.N. (2005). A comparative study on Biodiversity of selected manmade and Natural habitats in low country wet zone of Sri Lanka. MPhil thesis. Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna. Kamburupitiya, Sri Lanka.

Groves, P.C. (2001). Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press,Washington D.C.

Gunatilleke, I.A.U.N., Gunatilleke, C.V.S. & Dilhan, M.A.A.B. (2005). Plant biogeography and conservation of the southwestern hill forests of Sri Lanka. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 12: 9-22

Henry, G.M. (1971) A guide to the Birds of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) with 30 half-tone plates of which 27 are coloured and 136 black and white drawings. (2nd edition). K.V.G. de Silva & Sons, Kandy, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). 457pp.

Heinen, J.H. (1992). Comparisons of the leaf litter herpetofauna in abundoned cacao plantaions and primary rain forest in Costa Rica: some implications for faunal restoration. Biotropica 24(3): 431-439.

Hochegger, K. (1998). Farming like the forest: traditional home garden systems in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agroecology 191, Margraf Verlag, Wikersheim, Germany, 203pp.

Kotagama, S.W. & Fernando, P. (1992). A field guide to the birds of Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, Colombo 8, Srilanka. 226pp.

Lawler, S. P. (2001). Rice fields as temporary wetlands: A review. Israel J. of Zoology, 47 (3), 513-528.

Manamendra-Arachchi, K., & Pethiyagoda, R. (1998). A synopsis of Sri Lankan Bufonidae (Amphibia: Anura) with discription of new species. J. South Asian Nat. Hist., 3(1), 213-247.

Manamendra-Arachchi, K., & Pethiyagoda, R. (2005). The Sri Lankan shrub-frogs of Genus Philautus Gistel., 1848 (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae), with discription of 27 new species. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 12: 163-303.

Meegaskumbura, M., & Manamendra-Arachchi, K. (2005). Description of eight new species of shrub frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus) From Sri Lanka. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 12: 305-338

Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., Fonseca, G.A.B.Da & Kent, J. (2000). Biodiversity hot spots for Conservation Priorities. Nature. 403: 853-858.

Phillips, W.A.A. (1981). Manual of the Mamals of Sri Lanka. Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Colombo. Vol. I, II, & III.

Pethiyagoda, R. (1991). Freshwater fishes of Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage Trust, Colombo. xiv+362pp.

Pethiyagoda, R. (2005). Exploring Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity. The Raffles Bulletin of

Zoology, Supplement No. 12: 1-4

Pethiyagoda, R., & Manamendra-Arachchi, K. (1998) Evaluating Sri Lanka’s amphibian diversity. Occ. Pap. Wildlife Heritage Trust. 2:1-12.

Pethiyagoda, R. & Kottelat, M. (2005). A review of the barbs of the Puntius filamentosus group (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) of southern India and Sri Lanka. In: Yeo, D.C.J.P.K.L. Ng & R. Pethiyagoda (eds.), Contributions to biodiversity exploration and research in Sri Lanka. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 12: 127-144.

Scherr, S.J. & Shames, S. (2006). Agriculture: a threat or promise for biodiversity conservation. Arborvitæ The IUCN/WWF Forest Conservation Newsletter.

Sutherland, J.W. (1996) Ecological census techniques. Cambridge University Press. UK. 336pp.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Licence
Ruhuna Journal of Science by University of Ruhuna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

eISSN: 2536-8400

Print ISSN: 1800-279X (Before 2014)