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Bundala Biosphere Reserve, Sri Lanka

The Bundala Biosphere Reserve (BBR) in Sri Lanka was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. It is Sri Lanka’s only coastal Biosphere Reserve.  Covering a total area of 18,242.3 ha it has a mosaic of ecosystems with a gradation of human interventions-from human modified areas (where people live and engage in their daily lives while contributing to sustainable development) to areas of high biodiversity value - including wetlands of global importance as a Ramsar Site.

Designation date: 2005


Regional network:  

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 18,242.3 ha

    • Core area(s): 4,348.7 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 5,272.2 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 6,266.4 ha

    Location: 06°11'N; 81°12'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Department of Wildlife Conservation
    811/A Jayanthipura Road
    Sri Lanka

    Tel.: (94.25) 226 64

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Bundala National Park (BNP) which forms the Core Zone has 4 brackish water lagoons that are rich in wetland species, including 2 species of crocodiles. The BBR has about 230 indigenous and migrant bird species, including many wetland species.

    Habitat mapping in the BBR revealed 10 main habitat types, the most important being the beach/sea shore and sand dune vegetation; scrubland; dry-mixed evergreen forest/thorn forest/arid zone forest; salt marsh/lagoon marsh vegetation; seasonal water-bodies (freshwater); paddy; home gardens and the wetlands/water bodies. There are also small areas of mangroves, and some aquatic freshwater vegetation in tanks and seasonal water bodies. 


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    This makes the BBR an ideal place for the serious bird watcher. A large number of local and foreign visitors visit the Bundala Biosphere Reserve annually to view its many attractions, including its rich bird life and elephants.


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    Last updated: May 2019