Dunumadalawa Forest Reserve

Dunumadalawa Forest Reserve
Dunumadalawa Forest Reserve (Sinhala: දුනුමඩලාව රක්ෂිතය), also known as Walker Estate or Waraka Watta, is a semi-isolated, hill country wet-zone forest reserve situated in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. Extending in an area of about 480 ha., it comprises mainly secondary growth forest (Hettiarachchi & Wijesundara, 2017). 

The forest area was an active tea, coffee and cocoa plantation until the early 1900s at which time it was protected as a watershed (Kittle et al., 2016). Some active reforestation of native tree species since 2000 has complemented natural reforestation to transform the area into a high-canopy mixed forest (Kittle et al., 2016).  

The forest forms the catchment and protects the watershed of two reservoirs, Dunumadala Wewa and Rosemith Wewa which augment the water supply to Kandy City (Hettiarachchi & Wijesundara, 2017; Yatigammana et al., 2011).  British rulers built Dunumadalawa Wewa in the 1870s by damming the Dunumadalawa stream in order to provide drinking water to residents of the city.

Dunumadalawa forest harbours 13 out of 33 endemic bird species in Sri Lanka (39.4%) and 29 endemic subspecies out of 68 [(42.7%) Hettiarachchi & Wijesundara, 2017]. The forest is also a refuge for 10 of the 23 (43.5%) restricted-range bird species (Hettiarachchi & Wijesundara, 2017). It consists of different types of habitats such as woody areas, grasslands, pine plantations, and several permanent and temporary lentic and lotic water bodies (Hettiarachchi & Wijesundara, 2017).


1) Hettiarachchi, T. and Wijesundara, C.S., 2017. Conservational significance of Dunumadalawa Forest Reserve in Central Sri Lanka based on the endemism of its avifauna. Ceylon Journal of Science, 46(3), pp.21-30.
2) Kittle, A.M., Kumara, P., Pathirathna, D.G., Sanjeewani, H.K.N., Seneviratne, H.T.J. and Watson, A.C., 2016. A comparison of floral and faunal diversity between two small, disturbed forest patches in Sri Lanka's central highlands. WILDLANKA Journal of the Department of Widllife Conservation of Sri Lanka, 4(3). pp.134-141.
3) Yatigammana, S.K., Ileperuma, O.A. and Perera, M.B.U., 2011. Water pollution due to a harmful algal bloom: a preliminary study from two drinking water reservoirs in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 39(1). pp.

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This page was last updated on 5 July 2022

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