Yala National Park (Ruhunu National Park) is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Actually, it consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public; and also adjoining parks. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province.
Flora-The mangrove vegetation in the Buthuwa lagoon is largely Rhizophora mucronata while Avicennia spp. and Aegiceras spp. are less abundant. The vegetation of Block II is similar to those of Block I, and Yalawela, once a fertile paddy field, represents Pitiya grasslands. The common mangrove plants are Rhizophora mucronata, Sonneratia caseolaris, Avicennia spp., and Aegiceras corniculatum. The other common mangrove species are Sonneratia caseolaris, Acanthus ilicifolius, Excoecaria agallocha, and Lumnitzera racemosa. In the bare sand, Crinum zeylanicum is found.
Fauna-The Park is best known for its variety of wild animals. 44 species of mammals are resident in Yala National Park, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world. The elephant herd of Yala contains 300-350 individuals. Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Elephant, Wild water buffalo are threatened species. Toque Macaque, Golden Palm Civet, Red Slender Loris, and Fishing Cat are among the other mammals that can be seen in Yala. The reptile fauna recorded from the park is 46 and five of them are endemic - Sri Lankan Krait, Boulenger's Keelback, Sri Lankan Flying Snake, and Wiegmann's Agama. The Indian Cobra and Russell's viper are among the other reptiles.