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Hikkaduwa National Park
  Hikkaduwa National Park is one of the two marine national parks in Sri Lanka. The national park contains a fringing coral reef of high degree of biodiversity. The area was declared a wildlife sanctuary on May 18, 1979, and then on August 14, 1988, upgraded to a nature reserve with extended land area.
The national park situated in the wet zone and receives a 2,000 millimeters (79 in) of annual rainfall. The rain is received in both southwestern and northeastern monsoon seasons, in April-June and September-November respectively.


Flora and funa


    Foliaceous Mantipora species dominate the coral reef. Encrusting and branching species are also present. favijdae and Poritieae corals are contained in the inshore areas of the reef in massive colonies. Staghorn, elkhorn, cabbage, brain, table and star corals are all present in the reef.Corals of 60 species belonging to 31 genera are recorded from the reef. The reef also recorded over 170 species of reef fish belonging to 76 genera.
Seagrass and marine algae belonging to genera Halimeda and Caulera are common in the seabed depth ranging from 5-10 m.Seagrasses provide habitat to Dugong and sea turtles. Some species of prawns feed on the seagrass. Eight species of ornamental fishes also inhabit the reef, along with many vertebrates and invertebrates including crabs, prawns, shrimps, oysters and sea worms. Porites desilveri is an endemic coral species of Sri Lanka.Chlorurus rhakoura and Pomacentrus proteus are two reef fish species confined to Sri Lanka. Blacktip reef shark are found along the outer slope of the reef. Three sea turtles which have been categorized threatened visit the coral reef: the hawksbill turtle,green turtle, and Olive Ridley.




The reef has suffered high degradation due to both natural and human activities. The live coral cover was decreased from 47 percent to 13 percent in a coral bleaching event in 1998,  has been suggested that at least 30-40 percent of coral reef should be restored in order for it to be capable of sustaining itself. Despite being designated as a protected area, the coral reef has been subject to constant exploitation including removal of breeding ornamental fish for the commercial market.

Corals Type of Hikkaduwa


Coral reefs are known as rainforests of the sea because of their high level of biodiversity. Being a tropical island, Sri Lanka has many coral reefs, but the most popular is the one at Hikkaduwa.


Corel types:

Table coral   Staghorn coral   Elkhorn coral          Brain coral
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