List of mammals of Sri Lanka

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"Mammals of Sri Lanka" redirects here. For the book by Asoka Yapa and Gamini Ratnavira, see Mammals of Sri Lanka (book).

This is a list of the mammal species recorded in Sri Lanka. There are 113 mammal species in Sri Lanka, of which 1 is critically endangered, 10 are endangered, 10 are vulnerable, and 3 are near-threatened.[1]

The following tags are used to highlight each species' conservation status as assessed by the IUCN:

EX Extinct No reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.
EW Extinct in the wild Known only to survive in captivity or as a naturalized populations well outside its previous range.
CR Critically Endangered The species is in imminent risk of extinction in the wild.
EN Endangered The species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
VU Vulnerable The species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
NT Near Threatened The species does not meet any of the criteria that would categorise it as risking extinction but it is likely to do so in the future.
LC Least Concern There are no current identifiable risks to the species.
DD Data Deficient There is inadequate information to make an assessment of the risks to this species.

Some species were assessed using an earlier set of criteria. Species assessed using this system have the following instead of Near Threatened and Least Concern categories:

LR/cd Lower Risk/conservation dependent Species which were the focus of conservation programmes and may have moved into a higher risk category if that programme was discontinued.
LR/nt Lower Risk/near threatened Species which are close to being classified as Vulnerable but are not the subject of conservation programmes.
LR/lc Lower Risk/least concern Species for which there are no identifiable risks.

Subclass: Theria[edit]

Infraclass: Eutheria[edit]

Order: Proboscidea (elephants)[edit]

The elephants comprise three living species and are the largest living land animals.

Order: Sirenia (manatees and dugongs)[edit]

Sirenia is an order of fully aquatic, herbivorous mammals that inhabit rivers, estuaries, coastal marine waters, swamps, and marine wetlands. All four species are endangered.

Order: Primates[edit]

The order Primates contains humans and their closest relatives: lemurs, lorisoids, monkeys, and apes.

Order: Rodentia (rodents)[edit]

Rodents make up the largest order of mammals, with over 40 percent of mammalian species. They have two incisors in the upper and lower jaw which grow continually and must be keep short by gnawing. Most rodents are small though the capybara can weigh up to 45 kg (100 lb).

Order: Lagomorpha (lagomorphs)[edit]

The lagomorphs comprise two families, Leporidae (hares and rabbits), and Ochotonidae (pikas). Though they can resemble rodents, and were classified as a superfamily in that order until the early 20th century, they have since been considered a separate order. They differ from rodents in a number of physical characteristics, such as having four incisors in the upper jaw rather than two.

Order: Soricomorpha (shrews, moles, and solenodons)[edit]

The "shrew-forms" are insectivorous mammals. The shrews and solenodons closely resemble mice while the moles are stout-bodied burrowers.

Order: Chiroptera (bats)[edit]

Indian Flying Fox (Pteropus giganteus), most common bat founf in the island

The bats' most distinguishing feature is that their forelimbs are developed as wings, making them the only mammals in the world naturally capable of flight. Bat species account for about 20% of all mammals.

Order: Pholidota (pangolins)[edit]

The order Philodota comprises the eight species of pangolin. Pangolins are anteaters and have the powerful claws, elongated snout and long tongue seen in the other unrelated anteater species.

Order: Cetacea (whales)[edit]

The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. They are the mammals most fully adapted to aquatic life with a spindle-shaped nearly hairless body, protected by a thick layer of blubber, and forelimbs and tail modified to provide propulsion underwater.

Order: Carnivora (carnivorans)[edit]

There are over 260 species of carnivorans, the majority of which feed primarily on meat. They have a characteristic skull shape and dentition.

Order: Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates)[edit]

The even-toed ungulates are ungulates whose weight is borne about equally by the third and fourth toes, rather than mostly or entirely by the third as in perissodactyls. There are about 220 artiodactyl species, including many that are of great economic importance to humans.

Order: Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates)[edit]

The odd-toed ungulates are ungulates that are equally important as Artiodactyls. There are about 17 perissodactyl species, including many that are of great economic importance to humans.

Introduced animals[edit]

Humans in each time with migrations and other immigration processes, brought many mammals for their purposes. They domesticated those mammals for meat, fur and also for protection.

  • Order: Lagomorpha (rabbits,hares,picas)
    • European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus - NT රට හාවා - introduced as pets, sometimes used for meat.
  • Order: Carnivora (dogs,cats, and allies)
    • Domestic Dog Canis lupus familiaris LC - cosmopolitan, used for protection purposes in houses and military purposes, and as pets.
    • Domestic Cat Felis catus LC - cosmopolitan, used for protection purposes (mouse catching) and as pets.
  • Order: Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates)
    • Water Buffalo Bubalus bubalis LC - domesticated, used for making curd, and ploughing purposes.
    • European Cattle Bos taurus primigenius LC - domesticated, used for meat, and milk.
    • Indian Cattle Bos taurus indicus LC - domesticated, used for hard-working purposes, and milk.
    • Domestic Sheep Ovis aries - domesticated, used for fur and meat.
    • Domestic Goat Capra aegagrus hircus - domesticated, used for meat, and milk.
    • Domestic Pig Sus scrofa domesticus - domesticated, used for meat.

Further reading[edit]

Refer Mammals of Sri Lanka book, that is the first mammalian specified complete book in Sri Lanka, after about 80 years.


  1. ^ This list is derived from the IUCN Red List which lists species of mammals and includes those mammals that have recently been classified as extinct (since 1500 AD). The taxonomy and naming of the individual species is based on those used in existing Wikipedia articles as of 21 May 2007 and supplemented by the common names and taxonomy from the IUCN, Smithsonian Institution, or University of Michigan where no Wikipedia article was available.


See also[edit]