The Kumana National Park is certainly an ornithologist’s Paradise! Situated 391 km from Colombo on the southeastern coast of the country, it is one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the country. The entrance to the park is at Panama through the Kudumbigala sanctuary and is accessible via Beragala and Koslanda or through the Uduwalawe – Tanamalvilla route.
The Kumana National Park established in 1938, is one of the most important nesting and breeding grounds for birds in Sri Lanka. Of the country’s 400 bird species, the Kumana National Park is known to have recorded 255 species of birds.
The vegetation of the park is mainly tropical dry zone forest covers an area of 35,665 hectares with the western boundary bordered by the Kumbukkan Oya and to the south is the coastal stretch that runs to Panama.
The park’s extensive bird life thrives on a massive 200 hectare natural mangrove swamp, the “Kumana Villu” and plenty of tanks and lagoons scattered around the park where thousands of birds nest and breed. It is known that thousands of birds migrate to the swamp every year between the months of April to July.
The park is famed for its large flocks of migratory Waterfowl and Water birds. Amongst the other species seen at Kumana National Park are the Eurasian spoonbills, Lesser adjunt, Black-necked stork and Great thick knee are breeding inhabitants. The visiting waders include the Waterfowl, Pintail snipes migrating from as far away as Siberia. Amongst the other feathered visitors are the Asian open-bill, Glossy ibis, Purple heron, Great egret, Indian pond heron, Black-crowned Night heron, Intermediate egret, Little egret, Spot-billed pelican, Indian cormorant, Little cormorant, Common moorhen, Watercock, Purple swamp hen, White-breasted water hen, Pheasant-tailed jacana, Black-winged stilt, Lesser whistling duck and little Grebe. Amongst the rare visitors are the Yellow-footed green pigeon, Greater racket-tailed drongo, Malabar trogon, Red-faced malkoha, and Sirkeer malkoha.
The mammals found here are the Sri Lankan Elephant, Leopard, European Otter, Fishing cat, Wild boar and the Golden jackal. The common reptiles are the Mugger Crocodile, Indian flap-shelled turtle and the Indian black turtle.