Sunday, November 10, 2019

Badagamuwa Conservation Forest

Badagamuwa Conservation Forest
Badagamuwa Conservation Forest is a secondary forest in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.  It is located on the wayside of Kurunegala-Dambulla road (A6 road) approximately 4 km distance from the Kurunegala town. 

Due to the human interventions, the natural forest that existed at Badagamuwa was started to degrade during the 17th century. However, the site was declared as a "Conservation Forest" by the government on 1 June 1894, under gazette no. 5290 and a reforestation process was initiated in 1895, by the English Captain A. M .Walker. The A6 road that is running across the Badagamuwa forest today is said to be there at the time as a small cart size track. 

In 1925, several valuable trees such as Jack, Mahogani, Teak, Nedun, Burutha, Ethdemata, Milla etc., were planted in this site by the Department of Forest. Before that process, the department had collected the wood harvest from the forest and given the plotted lands to villagers to cultivate several crops such as Pumpkin, Plantain, Papaya etc. After that, the cultivated lands were burnt and developed again as a forest area. In 1968, several plants such as Jack, Mahogani were re-planted at the forest.

At the beginning, several selected trees were cut-down from Badagamuwa forest as the wood harvest but it was ceased when the government decided to protect it as a conservation forest. On 13 September 2007, the forest was upgraded as a Conservation Forest under the gazette (extraordinary) no. 1514/22. Presently, the Badagamuwa Conservation Forest covers 217 hectares and 50 hectares of which has been identified as a "Man and Biosphere Reserve".

Situated in the intermediate Zone of Sri Lanka, the Badagamuwa forest has an annual rainfall of 1750-2500 mm. It is a secondary forest resulted by the forest regeneration followed by abandonment of the plantation for several decades. Presently, the forest is home for more than 130 plant species and 300 animal species. 

The canopy of the forest is mainly dominated by plantation species such as Jack (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and Mahogani (Swietenia macrophylla) and the lower strata has been regenerated by typical forest species. A vegetation survey conducted by the Department of Forest has recorded more than 30 main species in the Badagamuwa forest including Jack, Milla, Pihimbia, Budediyala, Diyakirala, Heenambilla, Walwaraka etc. Native species such as Wild Coffee, Etamba, Malaboda and Nedun had been also recorded by them. Besides the vegetation survey, a fauna survey conducted by the "Young Zoologists' Association" revealed many reptiles, birds, butterflies, amphibians and mammals species who are native to Sri Lanka. 

Thuruviyana habitat improvement project
Forest openings have been created in several places in the forest due to the dense cover of liana species spreading over the canopy such as Hinguru-wel (Acacia caesia) and Kanduru-ketiya-wel (Combretum albidum). Under Thuruviyana habitat improvement project, these lianas are removed in systematic manner to restore the forest openings.

1) Information from the "Badagamuwa Environmental Information Center".

Location Map

This page was last updated on 10 November 2019


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