Birding Tour Sri Lanka: Island Endemics and More 2018
Duration: 12 days
We usually find all Sri Lankan endemics on this ‘Birding Tour Sri Lanka’ adventure. Sri Lanka is a picturesque island situated at the southern tip of India and home to 33 currently recognized endemic species. Sri Lanka is a continental island and had been connected to India for much of its geological past through episodes of lower sea level.
Despite these land-bridge connections, faunal exchange between the rainforests found in Southern India and Sri Lanka has been minimal. This lack of exchange of species is probably due to the inability of rainforest organisms to disperse though the interceding areas of dry lowlands. These dry lowlands are still dry today and receive only one major rainy season, whereas Sri Lanka’s ‘wet zone’ experiences two annual monsoons. This long insularity of Sri Lankan biota in a moist tropical environment has led to the emergence of a bewildering variety of endemic biodiversity. This is why southwestern Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of southern India are jointly regarded as one of the globe’s 34 biodiversity hotspots. Furthermore, Sri Lanka is the westernmost representative of Indo-Malayan flora, and its abundant birdlife also shows many such affinities.
Our ‘Birding Tour Sri Lanka’ excursion also offers plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities and is therefore also suitable for those with broader interests. The main focus, however, is on Sri Lanka’s abundant avifauna, including its 33 endemics. We aim to see 215-235 species of birds during this tour. We usually find all 33 Sri Lankan endemics, and so much more!
The itinerary covers a variety of habitat types, including lowland, monsoon forests and cloudforests, grasslands, coastal mudflats, imposing riverine woodland, and forest. We do a fair bit of walking on our tour, particularly in the earlier stages, as we search for endemics and mixed-species flocks in different forest types. Our walks are gentle and slow-paced to enable us to spot and enjoy the birds.
As far as possible we use accommodation at or very close to the key birding sites to maximize quality birding time. Our Birding Tour Sri Lanka accommodation includes guest houses, game lodges, and star-class hotels.