Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park is considered prime habitat for elephants due to the large number of elephants attracted to the edge of Minneriya Reservoir.
Minneriya National Park
Minneriya National Park is a national park situated in Polonnaruwa District, Sri Lanka. 

The park is considered prime habitat for elephants due to the large number of Asian elephants that are attracted to the grass fields on the edge of the Minneriya Reservoir during the dry season. It is the only park in the country where a large clan of elephants can be found in one place and this is recognized as the largest Asian elephant gathering in the world (Pastorini et al., 2020; Pathirana et al., 2021; Rathnayake, 2016).

Minneriya is part of a large protected area system that allows free movement of elephants and includes the Kaudulla and Angamedilla National Parks, Giritale Sanctuary, Hurulu Eco-Park and Forest Reserve and Gal Oya Forest Reserve (Pastorini et al., 2020).

Minneriya was declared as a national park on 12 August 1997 and opened for visitors in May 1998 (Pathirana et al., 2021; Wijerathna & Senevirathna, 2016). 

Physical features
The total area of the park is 94.11 km2 and it lies within the Minneriya- Giritale Nature Reserve (Blocks I, II, III and IV) and Sigiriya Sanctuary (Pathirana et al., 2021; Wijerathna & Senevirathna, 2016). It acts as the catchment of the three main lakes; Minneriya Reservoir and Giritale Wewa and Parakrama Samudraya (Pathirana et al., 2021). The Minneriya Reservoir is the main water source located within the park.

The park is located in the dry zone and the average rainfall is between 1500-2000 mm annually (Pathirana et al., 2021). The temperature ranges between 21°C-34°C (Pathirana et al., 2021). Main rainfall is experienced from the eastern monsoon between January to May.

1) Słonie na SriLance4 by ZiemowitJ is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

1) Pastorini, J., Pilapitiya, S. and Fernando, P., 2020. Wild Asian Elephant Twins in Sri Lanka. Gajah, 52, pp.48-50.
2) Pathirana, M.T., Herath, H.M.R.P., Scott, N. and Gardiner, S., 2021. Economic sustainability in safari tourism in Southeast Asia: the case of Minneriya National Park Sri Lanka. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, 13(3). pp.201-227.
3) Rathnayake, R.M.W., 2016. Pricing the enjoyment of ‘elephant watching at the Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka: An analysis using CVM. Tourism Management Perspectives, 18, pp.26-33.
4) Wijerathna, K.A. and Senevirathna, E.M.T.K., 2016. Identification of The Potentiality and Socio Economic impacts of tourism in Minneriya National Park Using GIS Techniques. Wildlanka. Journal of the Department of Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka, 4(2). pp.48-57.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 3 May 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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