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Anaiwilundawa Tank Sanctuary

An ancient system of seven cascading tanks dating back to the 12th century; the site is a unique wetland inthe Indian Ocean. The tanks range between 12-50 ha in size and are surrounded by traditional rice fields,scrubland, homesteads, coconut plantations and aquaculture farms. Based upon its unique biodiversity,cultural heritage and functional values, the Anaiwilundawa Sanctuary was declared a Ramsar site in 2001.In addition, BirdLife International recognises this site as an IBA.

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Arugam Lagoon

Arugam Kalpuwa is a shallow, brackish water lagoon with some fringing mangroves and extensive marshy areas to the north. It is an important habitat for large numbers of water birds, and the lagoon is also important for prawn fisheries. Surrounding areas also have extensive rice fields. The area is a popular tourist destination, and is well known among surfers for the waves off the nearby beaches. Pollution, unplanned development and sand mining are threatening the lagoon and adjacent natural ecosystems.

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Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary

The Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary is a complex of offshore continental shelf patch reefs constituting one of the largest coral reef systems in Sri Lanka. The marine sanctuary includes shallow coral reefs and sandstone habitats located deeper than the true coral reefs. The sanctuary is located offshore of the Puttalam estuarine system which includes Dutch Bay and Portugal Bay, in a relatively remote region of the country. The area was declared as a Marine Sanctuary in 1992 due to its rich species diversity and extensive coral reefs. It is the only MPA within the country that covers a considerably large area and encompasses multiple habitat types. Despite the effects of coral bleaching, Bar Reef remains one of the most biologically diverse coral reefs in Sri Lanka. It has also shown strong signs of natural recovery from coral bleaching compared to many other reefs in the country.

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