SPECIES COMPOSITION OF HABITAT OCCUPATION BY VERTEBRATE AND SOME INVERTEBRATE
FAUNA IN THE VICTORIA - RANDENIGALA - RANTAMBE (VRR) SANCTUARY, SRI LANKA
K B Ranawana and C N B Bambaradeniya
University of Peradeniya
A survey was carried out during April 1996 to March 1997 to assess the
faunal composition and their habitat occupation in the VRR sanctuary (42,078
ha) as a prerequisite for the preparation of a management plan for the
sanctuary. Fauna was recorded in relation to their major habitat types,
by both direct and indirect observations. The terrestrial habitats were
grouped according to the vegetation types and included natural vegetation
types such as dense forest (11,200 ha) and riverine forests (500 ha).
Man-influenced vegetation types consisted of open forests/savanna (6,330
ha), scrublands (7,590 ha), grasslands (1,725 ha) and home gardens (1,565
ha). The aquatic habitats included flooded wetlands (paddy fields 1,070
ha, marshes/swamps/riparian zones 500 ha) and permanent water bodies (reservoirs
- 5,580 ha, and 950 kilometers of stream and river systems). The survey
indicates that the VRR sanctuary harbours approximately 45% and 19% of
the total native and endemic vertebrate species of Sri Lanka, respectively.
The vertebrates included 30 species of fish (six endemics), 20 species
of amphibians (eight endemics), 35 species of reptiles (eight endemics),
153 species of birds (12 endemics) and 29 species of mammals (one endemic).
The two invertebrate groups included 71 species of butterflies (3 endemic)
and 41 species of molluscs (31 endemics). When considering the percentage
habitat occupation of the above taxa, the man-influenced habitats accounted
for 53% of the species (open forests/savannas - 20%, scrublands- 15%,
home gardens 12% and grasslands 6%), while the natural vegetation supported
31% of the species (dense forests - 17%, and riverine forests-14%). The
two groups of aquatic habitats harboured a similar proportion of species
(flooded wetlands - 8% and permanent aquatic habitats 8%).
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.