Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean, situated at the southern tip of the Indian sub-continent. The land area of the country is 64,740 km2. The topography of the island consists of south central mountain massif rises up to 2500 m, surrounded by broad lowland plains at an elevation of 0.75 m above the sea level. Though Sri Lanka is small in size, it has a varied climate and topography which has resulted in rich bio-diversity, and a wide range of ecosystems. Among the terrestrial ecosystems, there are forests varying from the wet evergreen forests, grasslands and a complex network of rivers and freshwater bodies. These together with the coastal and marine ecosystems such as sea-grass beds, coral reefs, estuaries, lagoons, and associated mangrove swamps, constitute the panorama of natural ecosystems in the country.
A recent analysis on the status of fauna and
flora in Sri Lanka has revealed that 223 species of vertebrate fauna
(33 per cent of the total species), and 675 species of angiosperm flora
that include a higher proportion of the endemic taxa are threatened
with extinction. However, it is alarming to note that 21 endemic
amphibians and 72 flowering plants have already become extinct in the