Name of organisation
Beddagana Wetland Park
Earnings of the Park
Number of staff
Number of visitors per year
Local Adults = 150,000
Local Child = 4,400
Foreign Adults = 690
Foreign Child = 190
Overall aims of the centre
Our main objectives are conserve existing urban wetland
biodiversity while promoting educational and ecotourism
Description of the centre
Location: Rampart Road, Kotte, Sri Jayawardanepura, Kotte, Sri Lanka.
Size of site: 18 hectares
Types of habitats and species supported:
Beddagana Wetland Park is a part of 1,000 ha Wildlife Sanctuary declared in 1984 by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka. This is an area with 18 hectares which lies about 3 km east to the Colombo commercial hub.
Within the park, there are natural water ponds, marshy areas, seasonally flooding grasslands and pockets of shrub which support high species diversity including endemic and threatened animal and plant species. The park consists of an orientation center, bird watching tower, bird hides, floating deck close to "Diyawanna", the fresh water lake and the nature trails in the shrub area.
This is home for nearly number of 80 resident birds and winter visitors including Indian Pitta, Barn swallows, Sandpipers and Wagtails during the migratory season from August to April each year. And there are about 45 species of butterfly species, many number of dragonfly species, reptiles, amphibians and fish species as well. The park highlights the presence of highly cryptic endangered mammal species, the Fishing cat and the Otter. Numbers of native, endemic and threatened plant species are found within the shrub area.
Beddagana Wetland Center is the first Wetland Center built for the purpose of wise use of a wetland area integrated to City Planning in Sri Lanka. It was designed, developed and managed by the local
professionals of the Urban Development Authority.
The able advise was also provided by Dr. Matthew Simpson (WWT).
Main CEPA work area
The park offers pre-registration services on guided tours for various groups, wide range of educational activities and workshops for school and university students, awareness programs, site cleaning camps, tree planting campaign with local NGOs, teacher training workshops and partnership programs.
Top three successes
The school and public awareness programs has become more effective as it has significantly increased the involvement of general public in conservation related activities which is organized by the park staff and other organizations. And the eyes of the public have focused to pay more attention on taking measures for wetland conservation in community level.
The park has produced a documentary film with the involvement of the experts in the field to highlight the biodiversity and the importance of protecting the associate
ecosystem around Beddagana Wetland Park. This has become highly successful in passing the conservation message to public during awareness programs.
The park has managed to establish a butterfly garden, which is rich with number of butterflies and with a good collection of
host plants and nectar plants. This also consists of display boards showing the life cycle, the descriptions on butterfly species and important plant species, which gives the basic biological knowledge on butterflies to those who visit the park and provide guidelines on how to make space for butterflies in their own home gardens.
Top three challenges
One of the major issues in the park is, during the dry period, some of the marshy areas get dry out as the park is in high ground with respect to the water level in Diyawanna Lake.
When the mud flats disappear, it is badly affect the aquatic life in the park and the numbers of migratory birds reduce.
Moreover, because of the unbalance water system, the over growth of reeds occurs in some areas of the lily-filled ponds and become a problem to aquatic birds. Hence, measures have to implement to retain water during this period to support the aquatic life.
In addition, vast area of the wetland covers with Invasive plant species Annona glabra commonly known as Pond Apple that prevents the growth of native plant species.
Removal of this is a difficult task because an aquatic life has already established associate with this habitat. The effective replacement of Annona with native plants is a challenge.
However, this has to carry out with a well-planned approach with the time without disturbing the existing system.
Intrusion of polluted water in to the park from the urbanized area through canals is another issue that has to address.
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails
Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Working with disabled people; Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Health and safety; Fund-raising; Project planning.
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