Hiyare Reservoir Rainforest and Biodiversity Research Center is one of the best kept secrets of Galle, lying just 16 kilometers from the town. Hiyare reservior which has been built over 100 years ago to provide water to the Galle town with only gravitational pressure. This operation was stopped in 2002 when it was decided by the Municipal Council that the water was unfit for consumption in its stagnant state and turned to other forms of water supply.
In 2003 the reservoir and 600 acres of the surrounding low country tropical rainforest was turned over to the Municipal Council of Galle. One part of Hiyare is managed by the Sri Lankan Forest Department and the Wildlife Society of Galle administers the reservoir area. A unique Biodiversity Breeding Centre for endangered species has been established and an Animal Rescue Program, which provides immediate medical and surgical care for injured wildlife, maintains a tropical tree farm to promote reforestation and conducts regular classes to interested parties on the importance of conservation and protecting the biodiversity of Sri Lanka.
Hiyare Reservoir Rainforest is a secondary lowland rain forest with a high diversity and endemism of species. There are 55 species of dragonflies, of which 12 are found only in the Hiyare area. 78 butterfly species have been identified with three endemic to this area.
Considering its small size, Hiyare contains an amazing number of endemic species. There are over 150 species of fresh water fish, reptiles, amphibians, land snails and mammals making Hiyare home. Out of that number, over 60 are endemic to the 600 acres that comprise the Hiyare Reservoir and Rainforest area. If you include the endemic birds, dragonflies and butterflies, this is one of the highest concentrations of unique species found in one small rainforest anywhere in the world! And more undiscovered species are being found each year.
The center can be reached through number of routes, the best being the Udugama Road through the Southern Expressway Access Road which would be the one you would be taking if traveling from Colombo on the Highway. Another is through the Deniyaya (A17) road and the third is through Labuduwa (B109 and B248).
Hiyare Reservoir Sanctuary, Hiyare Rainforest, Hiyare forest