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Central Highlands, a jewel in the wilderness crown

Central Highlands, a jewel in the wilderness crown

Sri Lanka’s highlands are situated in the south-central part of the island. The property comprises the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest.

These montane forests, where the land rises to 2,500 metres above sea-level, are home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the western-purple-faced langur, the Horton Plains slender loris and the Sri Lankan leopard. The region is considered a super biodiversity hotspot.

Outstanding Universal Value

The Central Highlands is a serial property comprising three component parts: Peak Wilderness Protected Area, Horton Plains National Park and Knuckles Conservation Forest. Its forests are globally important and provide habitat for an exceptional number of endemic species of flora and fauna.

The property includes the largest and least disturbed remaining areas of the submontane and montane rain forests of Sri Lanka, which are a global conservation priority on many accounts. They include areas of Sri Lankan montane rain forests considered as a super-hotspot within the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot.

More than half of Sri Lanka’s endemic vertebrates, half of the country’s endemic flowering plants and more than 34% of its endemic trees, shrubs, and herbs are restricted to these diverse montane rain forests and adjoining grassland areas.

UNESCO Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

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