We return to Sri Lanka in 2022 for an exciting 2 week butterfly tour!
The tropical island paradise of Sri Lanka is astonishingly rich in wildlife and contains a wide variety of habitats ranging from misty highland forests and lush rainforest to arid, scrub-filled plains and an abundance of fresh water lakes. Over a tenth of the land mass is designated as protected areas for wildlife and the principal reserves are among the best in Asia.
Although geographically close to India the zoology of the island displays many affinities to Indonesia and there is a marked degree of endemism, particularly in the remaining tracts of lowland forest to the south of the island where many of the birds, plants and insects are unique to Sri Lanka. Over 27 species of endemic birds is a high total for a country only a little more than a quarter the size of the United Kingdom, and the large number of endemic insects, plants, trees and reptiles is further evidence of the island’s long isolation from the mainland.
242 species of butterfly have been identified, 42 of these endemic to the island. As with the birds, the moist forests of the hill country and the south are home to some of the most interesting species but butterflies are a welcome sight throughout Sri Lanka and the aim of this tour is to visit some of the very best areas to observe them and identify the species encountered. In the course of our excursions we are sure to see a variety of other wildlife, particularly birds, but the focus will be very much on the butterflies in their myriad of colourful forms.
Local guide – Indika Jayatissa
Indika is a young Sri Lankan naturalist who discovered his passion for wildlife at the age of 14 when he started to photograph the insects and butterflies of his local area using a Sony Powershot. Since then he has become an expert on Butterflies and their habitat. Indika originally started work as a wildlife guide in nearly all of Sri Lanka’s major reserves. He is the administrator of the Sri Lankan Butterflies Facebook page and a Member of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Galle, Sri Lanka Butterfly Conservation Society and has done many research projects for these societies. Indika’s talents are much broader and he is also an expert birder and will satisfy any birder with the hard to find endemics and other resident and migrant species of the island. He is also an active member of the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. His recent pursuit in search of the islands nocturnal mammals has made him a sort out guide for many specialized tours.
He is a specialist all-round naturalist who is as passionate about the conservation of Sri Lanka’s terrestrial mammals, birds, butterflies and whales as he is about documenting the natural world around him. His pleasant personality and wealth of knowledge makes him a sought out travelling companion.
The intention of this tour is to observe and identify butterflies in the wild. The collecting of specimens is not permitted and is illegal in Sri Lanka. Any tour member discovered procuring butterfly specimens will be asked to immediately leave the tour and could be subject to prosecution in Sri Lanka. In principle we have no objection to the catching of insects for the purpose of identification as long as they are not harmed and released as quickly as possible but tour members should be aware that this practice is not allowed in any of the Protected Areas in Sri Lanka, nor is it permitted to take nets into these areas. Please do not consider travelling on this tour unless you are prepared to abide to these conditions.