Hiyare Rainforest and Reservoir
Hiyare Reserve is a conservation forest area located next to the Hiyare reservoir. It is a hidden gem in the south, a forest of serenity, peace and quiet, rich with a diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna, Hiyare Rainforest and reservoir is situated just 40 minutes from Koggala and 17 kilometres from Galle.
Home to a large ecosystem of plants, insects, birds and a few mammals such as the deer, the Hiyare rainforest provides an unspoilt habitat. The Hiyare reservoir was built nearly a century ago to provide water for Galle and much later the water was deemed unfit for consumption purposes. The catchment area of the reservoir consists of swamps, paddy fields and protected lowland which are home to important species of canopy trees of which 9 are endemic.
However the reservoir was taken over by the municipal council of Galle and one part is managed by the Sri Lanka Forest Department and the Wildlife Society of Galle.
The Hiyare rainforest covers an expanse of 600 acres and an animal rescue program and biodiversity research center has been initiated. The animal rescue program rescues and provides treatment for injured animals before releasing them back into the forest. Despite the small area of this rainforest, it is home to a variety of 55 dragonfly species’, 78 species of butterfly and 150 species of freshwater fish along with a variety of mammals and reptiles have been identified. There are 118 species of birds, of which 13 are endemic such as the Ceylon rose, Black ruby barb, Sri Lankan green pigeon and the Two-spotted Threadtail. It is also home to 29 species of mammals such as the Purple faced leaf monkey, mongoose, hog deer which is a very rarely seen animal by wildlife naturalists.
A visit to this secret rainforest will give you an opportunity to explore wildlife leave all nature lovers in complete and utter bliss.