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Kalpitiya Islands, a wildlife haven

The scenic Kalpitiya marine sanctuary extends to about 307 sq. km. being home to Sri Lanka’s largest coral reef, the ‘Bar Reef’. Right around clustered in a perfectly-formed jigsaw puzzle, are the islands around Kalpitiya which are both large and small shaped delicately within the sea and the Kalpitiya lagoon. Most of these islands, especially the ones by the lagoon, are covered with lush green mangroves that offer a haven for wildlife.

The islands and the surrounding wetlands have been brimming habitats for local and migratory birds of different species. There about 25 species of core mangroves found in Sri Lanka. According to international botanists, out of the 22, some 10 rare species are found in these islands.

Sri Lanka Environmental Television Project supports the Green Coast Reports where they did a documentary on ‘Mangroves Are Forever’ filming Kalpitiya. Shrimp farming damaged and degraded mangroves around the Kalpitiya lagoon. After the industry collapsed, the community joined hands with a conservation group to restore the mangroves, some of which is harvested.

Be it sand safaris or tripping around, the Kalpitiya islands have something in store for the die-hard adventure seeker. Ride along the deserted sand dunes between the ocean and the lagoon or enjoy a sunset drink after a hard day.

Remember if you’re snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, kite or windsurfing, do it in a way so that it doesn’t affect Mother Nature. Bird-watchers can indulge in serious bird-brained activities with the wilderness sanctuary in close proximity to the islands. Also, make your holiday an exciting one with a walk on the moray ridge. A bar reef full of nooks and crevices housing a multitude of Moray Eels, large Groupers, BigeyesSoldierfish and Cardinalfish who are the keepers of the night.

Some of the Kalpitiya islands are Battalangunduwa, Palliyawatta, Vellai, Uchchamunai, Ippantivu, Arichchalai, Eramutivu, Kakativu and Mutwal (Dutch Bay).

Courtesy: SundayObserver

Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 @ 21:57:25 LKT by

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