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Annaiwilundawa Wildlife Sanctuary

Chilaw, West Coast, Sri Lanka.
Location : Chilaw
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Overview
On the Puttalam Road approximately 100km north of Colombo (15km north of Chilaw), an unsigned left turn 300 metres beyond of the 91km post leads 1.5km down a quiet lane into the heart of another unique wetland region.

Annaiwilundawa is a biodiversity hotspot and the second largest wetland in Sri Lanka. This wildlife sanctuary is also very good for Butterfly and Dragonfly watching.

Annaiwilundawa Wetland is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It is a complex wetland that consists of a group of ancient cascading tanks that vary in size between 12 and 50 ha, totalling an area of approximately 200 ha and less than 4m deep and located just above sea level. These tanks feed the traditional paddy fields and are sustaining about 412 of them. The tank system was built around 1140 AD by King Parakramabahu the Great.

This man-made wetland was declared a Sanctuary in 1997. The tank system receives water from the Deduru Oya. The wetland has a biodiversity from fish to mammals and birds. There are about 20,000 inland birds that depend on this wetland for survival.

Rich in terms of amphibians and reptiles, 10 species of amphibians and 30 species of reptiles have been documented.

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