History and the Description of the Wasgamuwa National Park:
Long before wildlife conservation became fashionable, Sri Lanka already had areas of jungle marked out for conservation. One such case is that of the Wasgomuwa National Park , a portion of which was declared a Strict Nature Reserve as early as 1938.
Life here, of course, is abundant, a testimonial to the success of Sri Lanka 's early conservation efforts. Fifty or so species of butterflies (nine of which are endemic) sprinkle the park with a splash of welcome color just when you think your eyes are dying of dullness from the browns and grays of all those large mammals, which drink from every stream and river the veritable White Mountain feeds.
If you try looking into these rivers and streams, you might catch a glimpse of the Stone Sucker or Combtail, two of the 17 species of fish swimming in them.
Watch out for Water Monitors and crocodiles while looking for fish though, and try not to run afoul of these not-too-friendly reptiles. While some would say that all reptiles are hideous, the more adorable ones include the endangered skink and the Dangaradanda as well as the Red Lipped Lizard and - with a name implying that normal people actually notice the ears of lizards - the Earless Lizard.
No discussion of a national park in Sri Lanka is complete without the naming of a few birds, as we have noted in our section on Minneriya-Giritale National Park . So here are a few more cool names for you to memorize. It is intriguing how people name birds, and we're quite sure that's part of the fun.
In Wasgomuwa National Park - where the Lesser Adjutant does not refer to a disgraced general - there are about 143 species of birds. Examples (besides the Lesser Adjutant) include the Red-faced Malkoha and Yellow Fronted Barbet; the Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl; and Sri Lanka Spur Fowl, sometimes misheard as "super-fowl". There is also the Sri Lanka Frogmouth, which appears to have no beak. Speaking of which, this might be a convenient place to draw your attention to the Slender Wood Frog, an endangered amphibian and the most noteworthy among the eight species found here.
It's not terribly fun just reading names, is it? Much better to just take that three-hour car ride and see for yourself the amazing assortment of life teeming in Wasgomuwa National Park.