Cave Biodiversity

Sri Lankan dark caves support important biodiversity, which has been largely neglected by the conservation community to date. The largest and most famous of Sri Lanka’s caves is the Ravana Ella Dark Cave. It is directly related to the legendary King Ravana who lived in Sri Lanka about 10,000 years ago. Its fauna has been found to include millipedes, cockroaches, several species of spiders, whip scorpions, Swifts, bats and Assassin bugs.

Cave guide training, and cave management programmes are currently not available within Sri Lanka. As a result, adventure tourism in these dark caves is completely unregulated. Recent studies by Lanka Institute for Cave Science (LICAS) indicate that current tourism practices pose major threats to cave conservation; especially for the more famous caves such as Ravana Ella and Sthreepura in Welimada.