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Common Name : Purple Heron     -       Scientific Name : Ardea purpurea       -       Other Name : Karawel Koka (S)
Panikkar Villu
Panikkar Villu
Panikkar Villu

This is a common breeding resident from the lowlands to the mid hills. This species breeds in Africa, central and southern Europe, and southern and eastern Asia. Three subspecies have been recognized. The race that is found in Sri Lanka is the nominate subspecies, A.p.purpurea, which is also found in Africa, Europe and southwestern Asia up to Kazakhstan.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

This is a species that is usually associated with water bodies and marshlands. I have seen them to be equally common in the dry and wet zones of the country. In the north they are common is suitable habitat. I have seen them in the Jaffna peninsula and the Mannar Island. These birds are still common at locations such as Kotte and Nawala Marshes, Thalangama wet land and Bellanwila Attidiya. The highest altitude at which I have seen it so far has been at Teldeniya at 420 meters.

This is not a very common species in Wilpattu but they are regularly seen in locations such as periya Villu, Panikkar Villu and Tala Wila.