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Hiyare rainforest bordered by the Hiyare reservoir is a secondary lowland rain forest with a high diversity and endemism of species that spans over 600 acres in Galle district. The reservoir was established in 1919 and the forest acts as its catchment. Mahadola, which is a major stream that enriches the river, also originates from here.
The Wildlife Conservation Society of Galle runs a field center at this premises in order to conduct educational programmes, conservation and researches. The Animal Rescue Programme is one of the major activities carried out under the Biodiversity Conservation Effort at Hiyare which provide medical care for injured wild animals, rehabilitate them and then release back into the wild. Moreover those animals are further observed closely after releasing, to confirm that they have settled in suitably. This centre is facilitated by Galle Municipal Council.
The vegetation of the forest is dominated by species such as Hora (Dipterocarpuszeylanicus), Bu – hora ,(Dipterocarpushispidus), Dorana (Dipterocarpusglandulosus), Pini – baru (Hopeajucunda), Kekuna (Canariumzeylanicum), Godapara (Dilleniaretusa), Thiniya ( Doonacongestiflora ), Uru – honda (Kurrimiaceylanica) and Beraliya – dun (Shoreadyeri). The place is a magnificent destination for bird watching along with 118 bird species of which 13 species are identified as endemic, namely Sri Lankan Spurfowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Spot-winged Thrush, Black-capped Bulbul, Grey Hornbill and Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot. Furthermore 33 Freshwater fish species, 78 Butterfly species, 55 Dragonfly species, 34 Reptile species, 18 Amphibian species, 28 Land snail species and 29 Mammal species are recorded within the stretches of Hiyare rainforest. Considerable amount out of above figures is recognized as endemic to the island. The Hog Deer is one of the distinctive attractions of this place.
You could make your leisure time contented, amidst this wildlife paradise by the means of trekking through the rainforest and experiencing a marvelous boat ride. The forest is open daily 9am – 4pm all year around, expecting your visit.