Second to Sinharaja, the Kitulgala forest reserve would be the ideal rainforest habitat to spot most of the lowland endemic species of birds including the Green-bill Coucal, Chestnut-backed Owlet, Red-faced Mal koha, Sri Lanka Spot-winged Thrush, Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Spur fowl, Ceylon Jungle fowl and Yellow-fronted Barbet. The newly discovered Serendip Scoops Owl was also first heard in this forest. Plenty of insect repellent and anti-leech socks, if you have a pair, are useful to wear when entering the forest.
Mammal species found here include the Grizzled Indian Squirrel, Layard’s Striped Squirrel and the Purple-faced Leaf Monkey. The streams hold endemic fish and many species of amphibians. The Earless Lizard, Kangaroo Lizard and the Hump-nosed Lizard are among the reptile species and are frequently seen in the foliage along the Kelani River.
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