Kaludiyapokuna Forest

Kaludiyapokuna Primate Conservation and Research Center

The Kaludiyapokuna Forest Reserve is located in Dambulla, in the Matale District in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The forest is at 13 km2 dry semi-evergreen forest patch surrounded by farmland and human settlements on the north, east, and west. Although there is clear evidence  of human forest use, both today and in ancient times, Kaludiyapokuna Forest is unique because it is far less disturbed by humans making it a haven for wildlife. In fact, there are populations of four of the five species of primates of Sri Lanka, the toque macaque (Macaca sinica sinica), the purple-faced langur (Semnopithecus vetulus philbricki), the tufted gray langur (S. priam thersites) and the Grey Slender Loris ( Loris lydekkerianus nordicus).


Kaludiyapokuna got its name from a pond that had dark water in ancient times and the forest itself is peppered with ruins of a monastery on the slopes of rocky hills. This Pabbatha Vihara architecture is worked into the natural rock formation and creates a unique setting for primate ecology and archaeology, with relatively limited tourism allowing researchers to observe more natural monkey behavior relative to other forests in Sri Lanka where monkeys are fed by tourists and interact with people everyday.