Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the many national parks in Sri Lanka. It earned its name as a national park during the Mahaweli Development Project in 1984 in which it provide refuge to countless displaced wild animals. Originally it was supposedly considered as a nature reserve in 1938, and then in the early 1970’s the park was regarded as a strict nature reserve. This is one of the places in Sri Lanka where elephants can be seen in very large numbers. It also rises up to prominence for bird-watchers too , and is also considered as one of the Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka. The name of Wasgamuwa is a derivative of two words Walas Gamuwa where Walasa is the Sinhala word for the Sloth Bear ( who are also present but in very small numbers ) and Gamuwa which means wood. The park is simply just about 225 km away from the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
Wasgamuwa National Park boasts a very high biodiversity. More than 150 floral species have been recorded from the park.
Wasgamuwa National Park is home to 23 species of mammals. The park is inhabited by a herd of 150 Sri Lankan Elephants. Marsh elephants roam in the Mahaweli river area. Purple-faced Langur and Toque Macaque are monkeys who are also present in the park and are endemic to Sri Lanka. While Water Buffalo and Sri Lankan Axis Deer are common to observe, Sri Lanka Leopard andSloth Bear are rare. Small Golden Palm Civet is another rare endemic mammal.
Number of bird species recorded from the park is 143. This includes 8 endemic species. Endemic Red-faced Malkoha is a resident bird in this national park. Sri Lanka Junglefowl ( The national emblem of Sri Lanka ) is another endemic bird inhabits the park.Lesser Adjutant, Yellow-fronted Barbet, and Sri Lanka Spur fowl are the species that visit the reservoirs and streams of the national park. Peafowl, Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis and Eurasian Spoonbill are the park’s other aquatic birds. Rare Sri Lanka Frogmouth is can been here. Another rare species, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo is seen near the Mahaweli river.