Influence of recreational trails on species diversity of tetrapod vertebrates within the Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka


  • Tharanga Dhananjani Research assiatant
  • K.M.T. Kalhari Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
  • W.A.D. Mahaulpatha Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka



Habitat, Species diversity, Plant Species richness, Tetrapod vertebrates


Horton Plains National Park (HPNP) is one of the world’s best nature reserves and a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka. This study was conducted to investigate the influence of recreational trails on vertebrate fauna in HPNP. Three 100-meter fixed-length line transects were marked along the recreational trails in each habitat to record species richness and abundance. In addition, three 100-meter fixed control transacts were placed 200 meters away from the existing recreational trails in each habitat. There was a significant difference in the amphibian diversity index of control and trail transects in aquatic habitats (P <0.05). The presence of trails had not influenced the reptile species diversity significantly in the cloud forest and aquatic habitats. There was a significant difference in bird diversity between transects in all habitat types (P < 0.05). The mammal species diversity index was not altered significantly in the presence of a trail within all three habitats considered (P > 0.05). The presence of recreational trails within HPNP has negatively affected species diversity. It can be concluded that it is necessary to minimize the number of the recreational trail which are to be constructed for most of the other protected areas of Sri Lanka.


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How to Cite

Dhananjani, T., Kalhari, K., & Mahaulpatha, W. . (2022). Influence of recreational trails on species diversity of tetrapod vertebrates within the Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka. Scientific Reports in Life Sciences, 3(3), 69–81.