Hikkaduwa National Park | Sri Lanka

by | Oct 24, 2017 | National Parks | 0 comments

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You May Need to Know

Location

Southern province

Nearest City

Hikkaduwa

Coordinates

6°08′42″N 80°05′33″E

Area

101.6 Hectares

Established

September 19, 2002

Most Popular

Wildlife

Governing Body

Department of Wildlife Conservation

Country

Sri Lanka

Nearest Airport

Bandaranayake International

About Hikkaduwa National Park

A marine national park in Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa National Park, is one of three in the country. The coral reef that encircles the national park has a high degree of diversity.

On May 18, 1979, the area was designated a wildlife sanctuary, and on August 14, 1988, it was upgraded to a nature reserve with an expanded land area.

Increased tourism in the next 25 years has contributed to coral reef depletion. On September 19, 2002, the Great Barrier Reef has designated a national park in an effort to protect the ecosystem.

Hikkaduwa National Park from Sky

Hikkaduwa National Park from Sky | Image Credit: www.lovesrilanka.org

Coral Reef at Hikkaduwa Marine National Park

With an average depth of about 5 meters, the coral reef at Hikkaduwa is a typical shallow fringe reef (16 ft). The coral reef acts as a natural breakwater and reduces coastal erosion.

The national park’s coast is four kilometers long. Generally, the coast is only 5–50 m wide, depending on the year’s climatic conditions. Scuba diving is a popular pastime in this part of Mexico.

Hikkaduwa National Park Corrales

Hikkaduwa National Park Corrales | Image Ctedit: www.ceylonexpeditions.com

Physical Features of Hikkaduwa National Park

In the wet zone, this national park receives an average of 79 inches of rain per year. During the southwestern and northeastern monsoon seasons, between April and June and September and November respectively, rain falls.

A dry period during the inter-monsoon season is the best time to visit the park. Between 28.0° and 30.0, °C is the water temperature while the average annual temperature is 27°C.

Hikkaduwa National Park is one of three marine national parks in Sri Lanka. The coral reef that encircles the park has a high degree of diversity. A dry period during the inter-monsoon season is the best time to visit the park.

Hikkaduwa National Sea Turtle

Hikkaduwa National Sea Turtle | Image Credit: lankavisit.com

Flora and Fauna Diversity of Hikkaduwa National Park

Many of the coral reef’s trees are foliaceous Montipora species. There are also encrusting and branching species. Massive colonies of Faviidae and Poritidae corals can be found in the reef’s inshore areas.

A wide variety of coral species can be found on the reef, including staghorn and elkhorn, cabbage, brain, table, and star corals. Species from 60 genera and 31 species have been found on the reef. More than 170 species of reef fish belonging to 76 genera were found on the reef.

Halimeda and Caulerpa algae are common in the seabed depth range of 5–10 m, where seagrass and algae belong to the genera. Dugongs and sea turtles rely on seagrasses for food and shelter.

Prawns eat seagrass in some species. Ornamental fish species number eight, and the reef is home to a wide variety of other animals and invertebrates, such as crabs, prawns,s, and shrimp as well as oysters and sea worms. In Sri Lanka, the endemic coral Porites desilveri can be found only in this area.

There are only two species of reef fish found in Sri Lanka, Pomacentrus proteus and Chlorurus rhakoura. The outer slope of the reef is home to blacktip reef sharks. The hawksbill, green, and olive ridley sea turtles are all frequent visitors to the coral reef.

Hikkaduwa is one of three marine national parks in Sri Lanka. The coral reef that encircles the national park has a high degree of diversity. A wide variety of coral species can be found on the reef, including staghorn and elkhorn, cabbage, brain, table, and star corals. Scuba diving is a popular pastime in this part of Mexico. More than 170 species of reef fish belonging to 76 genera were found on the reef.

Hikkaduwa National Sea Turtle Alone

Hikkaduwa National Sea Turtle Alone | Image Credit: sharetraveller.com

Threats

Due to both natural and man-made factors, the reef has been severely degraded. A 1998 El Nio-induced coral bleaching event reduced the live coral cover from 47 percent to 13 percent.

In order for the coral reef to be able to sustain itself, it has been recommended that at least 30-40 percent of the reef be restored. As a protected area, the coral reef has been continually exploited, including the removal of breeding ornamental fish for the commercial market.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Hikkaduwa National Park is an incredible destination that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors to Sri Lanka, and Ceylon Wild Tours is the perfect guide to help you explore this stunning natural wonder. With their experienced guides and expert knowledge of the park’s flora and fauna, Ceylon Wild Tours provides a truly immersive experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty of Sri Lanka. Through responsible and sustainable tourism practices, Ceylon Wild Tours is also helping to preserve the park’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage for future generations to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in snorkeling, diving, or simply relaxing on the beach, Ceylon Wild Tours will ensure that your visit to Hikkaduwa National Park is a truly unforgettable experience. So, book your tour today and get ready to explore the wonders of Sri Lanka’s natural world.

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