(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The National Environment Council of the Ministry of Environment has decided to declare the Kuruwita Warnagala Reserve as a protected environmental zone.
The National Environment Council chaired by the Director General of the Central Environmental Authority Hemantha Jayasinghe met yesterday (20) and discussed a number of issues related to environmental conservation. One of the main topics of discussion was the Warnagala Forest Conservation Program.
Earlier, several environmentalists have discussed the Warnagala reserve with Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. Accordingly, the Minister instructed the National Environmental Council to take appropriate measures regarding the conservation of the Warnagala Reserve.
Warnagala Forest Reserve in Kuruwita, Ratnapura District is an ecosystem with high value of biodiversity consisting of lowland wet evergreen vegetation. It is reported that a total of 383 species consisting 219 fauna and 164 flowering plants were recorded in this forest reserve. The Podochilus warnagalensis, an orchid species endemic to Sri Lanka, has also been recorded in this reserve.
A high richness of threatened species was reported with fourteen (14) critically endangered species including eleven (11) fauna and three (03) flora. Webless Shrub Frog (Pseudophilautus hypomelas) which has been classified as extinct in 2012 National IUCN Red List and rediscovered in 2013 was abundantly observed.
The decision of the National Environment Council to declare the Warnagala Forest Complex as a protected area will benefit the country with conservation of unique biodiversity and enhanced ecosystem services.