Mammal Tours – Land Mammals

It’s not only Elephants and Leopards…!

R S CatSri Lanka has many interesting mammals other than Asian Elephants and Leopards to offer enthusiastic mammal watchers. There is a total of 126 species of land mammals recorded to date in Sri Lanka, including 21 species endemic to the Island.It is possible to watch many of the diurnal mammals listed below on our usual bird or wildlife watching tours.

However, if a keen mammal watcher or observer is interested in finding most or all of the mammals in this list, which includes some difficult species (due to being rare and/or elusive) and nocturnal species, it is best to take a special mammal watching tour with us.

They gained from our expertise
Over the years our Tour Leaders have led special mammal tours for these top world mammal listers and keen mammal enthusiasts:Jon Hall, Gerald Broddelez, Phil Telfer, Steve Morgan, Steve Davis, Karen Baker, Kenneth Ross, Catriona Rayner, Ian Ellis, Beth Ludlo, Andrew Duff, Ann Lawson, Fiona Reid, Rauno Vaisanen, Mike Collard, Charles Hood, Kevin Baker, Holly Faithfull, Coke Smith, Jason Woolgar, Klara Eichlerova.

Such a specialized tour can be tailored by replacing and/or adding special sites in the given itineraries according to the species wanted by the client. Our team members have acquired special knowledge of such sites to find the difficult and nocturnal species, and thus enable mammal watchers to have a better chance of finding these interesting animals.

Our most popular special mammal watching tours during the past several years have been on the lines of looking especially for nocturnal species such as small cats (Fishing Cat, Rusty-spotted Cat and Jungle Cat), civets, lorises, bats, flying squirrels and other rodents. On our tours we carefully avoid counting the hybrid small cats (between the wild and the domestic Felis catus) which are fairly freely encountered roaming in the wild areas close to human habitation as well as in the wilderness areas. We search for only the true wild individuals of the small cats at the habitats, those correctly baring their species specific features.

These tours have been highly successful owing to the unrivalled knowledge and experience of our Expert Tour Leaders in the identification of mammals, their habits and habitats. The tour reports of some of our special mammal watching tours can be viewed at http://www.mammalwatching.com/Oriental/orientsrilanka.html

Mammal tours can include whale and dolphin watching too, see Marine Mammals

The table below shows the number of possible sites for each species and the number of chances available to try for them in each itinerary.

The list below follows classification, taxonomy and nomenclature of species in this list follow Mammals of the World:

a Checklist (2004) A. Duff & A. Lawson. The sequence of taxa is based on The Mammals of the Indomalayan Region (1992) by G.B. Corbet and J. E. Hill. References to recent revision in a few taxa are given after the table.

Note: If the number of ‘chances’ for a species is more than the number of ‘sites’ this indicates that the possibility of finding that species is significantly high and thus it can be expected to be seen on most of our tours. Such species usually seen on most tours are also indicated with: #

E – Endemic to Sri Lanka

Species Number of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1 Itinerary 2 Itinerary 3 Itinerary 4
Sites Chances Sites Chances Sites Chances Sites Chances
Indian Hare Lepus nigricollis 10 12 11 13 11 13 5 6
Sri Lanka Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura  10 12 10 12 11 13 6 8
India Palm squirrel Funambulus palmarum 15 20 15 20 15 20 10 12
Sri Lanka Jungle Squirrel Funambulus layardi ¹ E 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
Dusky-Stripped jungle Squirrel Funambulus sublineatus 5 7 5 7 5 7 5 7
Indian Giant Flying Squirrel Ptaurista philippensis 5 5 5 5 5 5 1 1
Eastern House Mouse   Mus musculus 10 10 10 10 10 10 8 8
House Rat Rattus rattus 10 10 10 10 10 10 8 8
Indian Gerbil Tatera indica  4 5 4 5 4 5
Indian Crested Porcupine Hystrix indica 2 2 2 2 2 2
Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica  4 5 5 6 4 5 1 1
Asian Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus 8 8 8 8 8 8 5 6
Golden Palm-Civet Paradoxurus zeylonensis      E 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Jungle Cat Felis chaus  3 3 4 4 3 3 1 1
Rusty-spotted Cat Felis rubiginosa 1 1 1 1 1 1
Fishing Cat Felis viverrina 5 5 5 5 5 5 2 2
Leopard Panthera pardus 4 4 4 4 5 5 1 1
Indian Grey Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii 4 5 4 5 4 5 1 2
Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii 8 10 8 10 9 12 5 6
Indian Brown Mongoose Herpestes fuscus 4 5 4 5 4 5 2 3
Striped-Necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis 3 4 3 4 3 4 1 1
Golden Jackal Canis aureus 6 7 6 7 7 8 1 2
Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus 1 1 1 1 2 2
Eurasian Otter Lutra lutra  3 3 2 2 3 3 3 3
Asian House Shrew  Suncus murinus 5 5 5 5 6 7 3 3
Horsfield’s Shrew  Crocidura horsfieldi 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Indian Flying  Fox   Pteropus giganteus 14 20 12 18 16 24 8 12
Greater Short-nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus sphinx 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 2
Woolly Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus luctus  2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Rufous Horseshoe Bat  Rhinolophus rouxii 4 6 4 6 4 6 2 2
Dusky Roundleaf Bat Hipposideros ater 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Indian Roundleaf Bat Hipposideros lankadiva 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Round-eared Tube-nosed Bat Murina cyclotis  2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Painted Bat  Kerivoula picta 5 6 6 7 5 6 2 3
Hardwicke’s Woolly Bat  Kerivoula hardwickii 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 1
Red  Slender Loris Loris tardigradus E 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3
Grey Slender Loris Loris lydekkerianus   2 2 1 1 2 2
Toque Macaque Macaca sinica E 10 14 10 14 12 16 7 10
Tufted Grey Langur Semnopithecus priam 8 10 7 9 10 12 2 4
Purple-Faced Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus vetulusE 7 9 7 9 7 9 6 8
Eurasian Wild Boar Sus scrofa  8 10 8 10 9 12 2 3
Sri Lanka White-spotted Chevrotain Moschiola meminna ²E 10 10 11 11 11 12 4 4
Sri Lanka Yellow-spotted Chevrotain Moschiola kathygre ²E 10 10 11 11 11 12 4 4
Sambur Cervus unicolor  5 7 5 7 5 7 3 5
Chital  Axis axis  8 15 8 15 9 17 1 2
Indian Muntjac Muntiacus muntjak  5 5 6 6 6 7 2 2
Domestic Water Buffalo Bubalus bubalis 3 5 4 6 4 6 1 1
Asian Elephant Elephas maximus 6 9 6 9 7 10 2 4
  • Srinivasulu C, Chakraborty S, and Pradhan M S. 2004. Checklist of Sciurids (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae) of South Asia. Zoo’s Print Journal 19: 1351-1360.
  • Groves C P and Meijaard E. 2005. Interspecific variation in Moschiola, the Indian Chevrotain. The Raffles Bul. of Zoology. Supliment 12: 413-421.