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Fauna

The Knuckles massif abounds in a rich variety of animal life. The mountain and their environs are the natural habitat of many species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and winged insects. Several of these are endemic to Sri Lanka and some are confined to this region.

The Mammalian fauna is not very rich in this region. Panthera paradus (Lepord), Cervus unicolor (Sambar), Tragulus meminna (Mouse deer)
Sus scrofa (wild boar), Muntiacus munjak (Barking deer), Manis crassicandata (Pengolin), Trachypithecus vetulus (purple-faced langur), Macaca sinica (Toque monkey), Funambulus sublineatus (Dusky palm squirrel), Ratufa macroura (Giant squirrel), Loris tardigradus (Loris) and Lutra lutra (Otter) are the recorded mammals in this range. The Muntiacus munjak (Barking deer) Trachypitchecus vetulus (Purple faced langur), Ratufa macroura (Giant squirrel), Ringed tail Civet cat, fox and Funambulus sublineatus (Dusky palm squirrel) can be seen in the Nothern flank of the range.

The reptile fauna is considerably higher than in other montane forests. Tennet's horned lizard (Ceratophora tennenti) is endemic to Knuckles forest and not found anywhere else in the world. Flat nosed lizard (cerataphora aspera) is confined to Knuckles. The endemic Earless lizard (Octocryptis weigmanni) and Three banded green lizard (Calotes Liocephalus), also present in this area. In addition to the Mukaln Palu Katussa (Lyriocephalus scutatus), Green pit viper, Cobra, Russell's viper, and Krait spp. Recorded in this range.

The massif provide home for the large number of amphibian faunal species. Most of the amphibians are the Ranids (frogs) Microhylids and Rhacophorids (Tree and bush frogs). Marbled clift frog (Nannophrys marmorata), is one of the confined species in this area.

Twenty eight species of fish fauna have been identified in the streams and water holes in the Knuckles massif, of which 9 are endemic to Sri Lanka. Garra phillipsi (Phillip's Gara), Puntitus martenstyni (Martenstyn's barb) and Puntius srilankensis are found only in the Knuckles.

This range is one of the most important and richest bird habitats in the hill country. Due to destruction of forests the number of bird species have declined in recent years. There are more than a hundred bird species present some of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Of the 24 endemic bird species 18 have been observed in the Knuckles region. More than 18 migrants can be observed here at different times of the year.


In addition, a large number of species of butterflies, spiders and insects have been found in the Knuckles and some are endemics to Sri Lanka.

The diverse fauna of the Knuckles range








Family
Genus
species
Endemic
Nationally threatened
Birds
Amphibians
Butterflies
Molluscs
Mammals
Reptiles
Fish
26
3
4
6
12
4
4
42
4
11
10
17
10
9
128
20
60
17
31
53
15
17
12
5
12
4
23
8
20
12
8
0
9
24
7
Total
55
94
324
81
80

Source: National conservation Review - 1993
A guide to the Biodiversity of Knuckles forest Region IUCN - 2003

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