Sri Lanka to limit vehicles to popular national park to protect wildlife

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"This is an increase of over 1,000 percent in 7 years. This has resulted in an average of 2100 vehicles entering Yala Block 1 per day with increased numbers during holiday seasons, often exceeding 700 vehicles per day," the office said.

The park is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka and attracts more than 100,000 foreign tourists each year. It is a key source of revenue to the government.

COLOMBO, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan authorities will limit the number of vehicles entering the Yala National Park to curb over-visitation which was posing a great threat to the wildlife, the Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday.

To curb this over visitation, the office said it had also appointed a "Yala Sub-committee" to create a path towards a more sustainable management of the national park.

According to officials statistics, the number of visitors entering the Yala National Park has increased to 545,007 in 2015 from 43,368 in 1008 .

The Prime Minister's Office said an action plan to improve the wildlife tourism in the park was compiled by the Department of Wildlife Conservation and following its recommendations, authorities decided to gradually limit the number of vehicles visiting daily which would also lead to improved wildlife sightings.

The Yala National Park is a renowned wildlife park in southeast Sri Lanka, which attracts a large number of international and national visitors and is home to some of the world's biggest concentration of leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted dears, peacocks and crocodiles.