The Knuckles Mountain Range is one of the many natural gems you’ll find in Sri Lanka. With expansive verdant forests nestled amidst hilltops capped in mist, it is one of the most scenic locations you’ll find in the island. It is also a hotspot for an array of flora and fauna, with a variety of species that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet! If you’re ever in the hilly regions of the country, be sure to plan a fun hike through the Knuckles Mountains and see all the wondrous wildlife that call it home.
The mountain range is home to over 1000 species of flowering plants and over 225 tree species. These, in turn, create the perfect habitat for a range of fascinating animal species. Some of the larger species include sambhur, barking deer and wild boar. If you keep quiet and have a sharp eye, you might be able to spot the timid mouse deer grazing in the underbrush. All these grazing animals provide an ample food supply for Sri Lanka’s top predator, the leopard, which is known to inhabit the mountain range. Several primates are also native to the mountains, namely the grey langur, toque macaque and purple-faced leaf monkey – the latter two are endemic to Sri Lanka. Leaf monkeys, in particular, are exceedingly rare outside of the Knuckles range and the surrounding forests.
If you’re more of a birdwatcher, don’t worry! The Knuckles range is home to an impressive array avifauna for you to observe. To be exact, there are 128 species of birds found in these mountains, 17 of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Some of the rarer feathered denizens you should keep an eye out for include the ground-dwelling Sri Lankan jungle fowl, the vibrant Yellow-eared bulbul and the majestic crested hawk-eagle. As dusk settles you might even catch a glimpse of the stealthy owl that haunt the forest at night. These include the brown wood owl and the endemic brown fishing owl.