Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, and also adjoining parks. The park covers 979 square kilometers and is located about 300 kilometers from Colombo. Yala is a protected wildlife sanctuary since 1900 and today it is protected and managed by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department. , The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.
Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.
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