Kumana National Park
Kumana National Park, Sri Lanka
Located in the southeast corner of Sri Lanka, is the 18,149-hectare Kumana National Park (Yala East) which is a well-known eco-tourism attraction and bird sanctuary where a multitude of birds breed and roost. This National Park had been closed since 2005 due to the presence of the LTTE terrorists in those areas. However, since the Government eliminated the LTTE Rebel Organization in May 2009, the Wild Life Department decided to open the park after they received security clearance after the end of the war.
One of the most significant features of the park is the 'Kumana Villu' – a 200-hectare natural swamp lake fed by the 'Kumbukkan Oya' through a half-mile long narrow channel. It is at this mangrove swamp that many water birds nest in May and June. Regular sightings include such species of bird as pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets, and little cormorants. The very rare black-necked stork has also been spotted at the swamp. Besides the prolific birdlife, Kumana is also home to some of the mammals found in the larger Yala National Park (west) such as elephants and leopards. The vegetation in Kumana consists mainly of mangrove trees, kumbuk trees, and the Karan fern as well as the open marsh area.
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