By Ashwin Hemmathagama
Government has declared areas in Chundi-kulam, Delft Island, Adam’s Bridge, Kotuaththawala, Kayankerni, and Madu Road as national parks.
Moving the motion on Thursday in Parliament, Environment and Wildlife Resources, and Lands and Land Development Minister S.M. Chandrasena held some of these new national parks have already been longstanding sanctuaries with high levels of biodiversity and historical importance.
“Chundikulam which was considered as a national sanctuary since 1938 was alleviated as a national park that contains over 27,500 acres of land. The biodiversity in Chundikulam attracts migrant birds. Permanent structures were removed in the process of conversion to a national park from a sanctuary,” he explained.
The Madu Road that surrounds Mannar, Mullaitivu, and Vavuniya Districts was a sanctuary declared in 1968. Identifying the biodiversity, the Government has raised its categorisation as a national park. “There are considerable numbers of wild elephants roaming Madu Road sanctuary and an elephant pass is also found through the Madu Sanctuary. It is confirmed different species including leopards, deer, and bears live in Madu sanctuary due to its favourable conditions for mammals. So, we had to remove certain agricultural lands and villages to announce the national park,” he said.
“Historically important Delft Island is high in biodiversity. An area of 1,846 ha in the Southern part of the Delft Island is reserved for wild horses. The Adam’s Bridge Marine National Park, which looks like a chain is made of small islands with sand dunes of different size.
“Part of it is found within the Indian territory and identified as the Gulf of Mannar National Park. This happens to the inter-boundary national park of Sri Lanka. Millions of migratory birds use these islands for nesting,” added the Minister.