Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island National Park is one of the marine national parks in Sri Lanka. Designated in 2003, it is the 17th national park in the country.
Not to be confused with Pigeon Island (Matara)

Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island National Park (Sinhala: ත්‍රිකුණාමළය පරවි දූපත ජාතික උද්‍යානය) is one of the three marine national parks in Sri Lanka (Perera & Kotagama, 2016). The island is located about 2.2 km offshore of the Nilaweli beach in Trincomalee District. It is the 17th national park in the country.


The island's name derives from the wild rock pigeon (Columba livia) which has colonized it (Katupotha & Senevirathna, 2017).

The Island

The park consists of two small islands; the large pigeon island and the small pigeon island (Rajasuriya et al, 2005). The large island has two small beaches located in the southwestern and northern flanks of the island (Rajasuriya et al, 2005). The main coral reef which is about 200 m long, and 100 m wide is found in front of the south-western beach. This coral reef is extended in a depth of 1 to 6 m and is dominated by branching and tabulated Acropora species (Rajasuriya et al, 2005). The small island is surrounded by rocky islets. Faviidae, Mussidae, and Portidae species are found in the coral reef around the rocky islets (Rajasuriya et al, 2005). Areas with soft corals such as Sinularia, Lobophytum and Sacrophyton are also identified. The total area of the park is about 471 hectares (Katupotha & Senevirathna, 2017; Perera & Kotagama, 2016).

The Flora and Fauna

A large number of coral species (over 100 species) and coral reef fishes (over 222 species) have been recorded around this national park (Perera & Kotagama, 2016). Juvenile and adult Blacktip reef sharks, Hawkbill, Green, and Olive ridley turtles are some of the marine animals found around the shallow coral areas. The island is also an important breeding and nesting ground for rock pigeons.

A Protected Island

During the colonial era, the island is said to be used as a shooting range (Katupotha & Senevirathna, 2017). In 1963, the island was designated as a sanctuary to protect birds (Rajasuriya et al, 2005). In 2003, the island and the surrounding area within a one-mile radius, including its coral reefs, were re-designated as a National Park under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (The Gazette, no: 1291/16). Today, this national park is governed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Pigeon Island National Park Pigeon Island National Park Pigeon Island National Park Pigeon Island National Park


1) Katupotha, K.N.J. and Senevirathna, C., 2017. Geomorphology of the Pigeon Island National Park, Sri Lanka. National Research Symposium - Sharing Knowledge for a sustainable management of Pigeon Island National Park.
2) Perera, N.; Kotagama, S.W., 2016. Recommendations for co-existence of coral reef conservation and tourism at Pigeon Island National Park. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment, 6(1). pp.20-35.
3) Rajasuriya, A., Perera, N. and Fernando, M., 2005. Status of coral reefs in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Coral reef degradation in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO): status report 2005, pp.97-103.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary, no: 1291/16. 4 June 2003. p.546.


1) Sri Lanka-Trincomalee-Pigeon Island by Dschen Reinecke is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Explore Other Nearby Attractions

Responsive esri Map

Responsive Google Map

This page was last updated on 24 February 2024

Post a Comment

Cookie Consent
We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
It seems there is something wrong with your internet connection. Please connect to the internet and start browsing again.
AdBlock Detected!
We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
Site is Blocked
Sorry! This site is not available in your country.