Through this project, "Rainforest Protectors Trust" of Sri Lanka will purchase and permanently protect a privately-held pristine tropical rainforest currently on sale and in danger of being clearcut, bordering the Sinharaja UNESCO Biosphere Reserve/World Heritage Rainforest. Spanning 5 acres with crystal clear water river frontage, this land provides habitat to many endangered and endemic species, and is crucial for protecting the biodiversity of Sinharaja, our last viable primary rainforest.
The last virgin rainforest in Sri Lanka, "Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest" is continually being encroached and cleared due to expanding tea plantations. Once spanning more than hundred thousand hectares, it has been reduced to a core area of 11,400 hectares with several fragmented smaller forests surrounding the area. The last two remaining wet zone rainforest elephants in Sri Lanka are now forced to cross roads and tea plantations to travel between these fragmented forests.
Through this project, we can expand the protected buffer zone created by Rainforest Protectors Trust (currently at 24 acres) to stop encroachment and protect the core zone of Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest. Due to river frontage, the protected land itself will provide vital habitat to many endemic freshwater fish and dependent wildlife. The project will also provide a safe corridor to the last 2 rainforest elephants which have been spotted frequently in the area.
Completing this project will enable us to push Government authorities to connect Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest with more than 2,000 acres of fragmented rainforest situated further to the north and declare as one large protected area. Reconnecting the once contiguous forest will allow terrestrial wildlife including the last 2 remaining rainforest elephants of Sinharaja to freely use their ancient migratory routes, promoting higher genetic diversity and increasing bio-diversity.
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