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Flood Plain National Park

Polonnaruwa, Ancient Central, Sri Lanka.
Location : Polonnaruwa
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Overview
Flood plain national park is located in polonnaruwa district in North Central Province, 233Km away from Colombo. It was established in 1984 under the Mahaveli River development project. Since this park is a flourishing feeding ground for elephants, it provides a corridor for them to migrate between grazing lands in Wasgomuwa and somawathiya National parks. Flood plain covers a land that stretches over 17,350 hectares.

The most outstanding feature of this park is the existence of villus (swampy lakes) in quite a fair numbers.  Around 38 villus have been recorded from the floodplains. Moreover park's elevation range from 20–60 meters with sparse rock outcrop. The rainfall is strictly seasonal as the park is located in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. North-east monsoon from October to late-January brings rain to this place.

Floodplain consists of diverse ecological zones such as river channels, riverine marshes, villus, seasonally flooded grasslands, and swamp forests. Particularly, villus have a high diversity of foliage. There are 231 plant species that have recorded from Handapan and Bendiya villus and marsh forests, which is the largest villu of 796 hectares (3.07 sq mi) within the Mahaweli River floodplain. Flood Plains National Park provides a refuge for a wide variety of fauna as well. Elephants population is considerably high in this park, and around 50-100 individuals are recorded.Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat , Rusty-spotted Cat , jackal , wild boar , Indian Muntjac , sambhur , spotted deer , and Water Buffalo are other frequently seen mammals. Diversity of avifauna including migrant species is another significance of this place. Lesser Adjutant, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Cattle Egret, Indian darter and Little Cormorant are few among them. Furthermore many freshwater fish species,  watersnakes, Mugger crocodile, and estuarine crocodile, Indian Black Turtle and Indian Flap are also reported here.
 
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