Maduru Oya National Park, designated a national park in 1983. Established under the Mahaweli development project, Maduru Oya National Park is designed to protect the immediate catchments of five reservoirs developed under the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Programme. Providing a refuge for a wide variety of wildlife, the park is best known for its herds of the Asian elephants.
The most dominant physical feature of Maduru Oya National Parkis the 8km long range of rocky mountains found towards the south-west of the park. The characteristic red soil which covers the entirety of this 58,850 hectare area supports a variety of dry-zone vegetation, with the climax community of the area being tropical dry mixed evergreen forest.
The park is particularly important for its rich wildlife, which includes a variety of endemic species. Mammals to be found within the park include, but are not limited to, Asian elephant, sloth bear, leopard, and water buffalo.. As with many of Sri Lanka’s water dominated parks, Maduru Oya enjoys a rich aquatic avifauna with painted stork, white-bellied sea-eagle and grey pelican all present. Noteworthy forest-dwelling birds found here include the common tailor-bird, shama, and black hooded oriole.