Rumassala Marine Sanctuary

Rumassala Marine Sanctuary
Rumassala Marine Sanctuary (Sinhala: රූමස්සල සමුද්‍ර අභයභූමිය) is one of the Sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. It lies in the southern end of Galle Bay, in the Galle District, of the Southern Province.

The area was declared a sanctuary in 2003 (Perera & de Vos, 2007).

Physical features & climate
The total area of the sanctuary is 1,707 ha (IUCN & CEA, 2006; Perera & de Vos, 2007). It encompasses a small near-shore coral reef growing on the hard substrate around the base of the Rumassala hill (Deepananda & Macusi, 2013; IUCN & CEA, 2006). The reef is part of a larger system of coral reefs around the Rumassala headland, which includes the Coral Reef at Unawatuna (IUCN & CEA, 2006). 

Although it is small in size, the reef is famous for its rich biodiversity and is considered an important habitat for marine species (IUCN & CEA, 2006). Over 500 species of reef and reef-associated fish have been recorded from the reef (IUCN & CEA, 2006). However, due to the use of dynamite for fishing and coral bleaching, the reef has been degraded today (IUCN & CEA, 2006).

Rumassala is located within the wet zone of Sri Lanka, which is characterized by an annual rainfall of over 2,000 mm per year and average annual temperatures of around 27˚C (IUCN & CEA, 2006). The reef is influenced by the southwest monsoon from May to October.

See also

1) Rumassala in panorama by Raveenhw is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

1) Deepananda, K.H.M.A. and Macusi, E.D., 2013. Human disturbance in a tropical rocky shore reduces species diversity. The Philippine Scientist, 50, pp.39-58.
2) IUCN & CEA, 2006. National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka. IUCN Sri Lanka and the Central Environmental Authority. Colombo, Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-8177-54-7. pp.259-263.
3) Perera, N. and de Vos, A., 2007. Marine protected areas in Sri Lanka: a review. Environmental management, 40(5), pp.727-738.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 14 September 2022

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