The almost two decade civil conflict in Sri Lanka has radically altered the economic and social conditions of the people in the north, with profound impacts on the environment, biological diversity and natural resources. Habitat destruction and the accompanying loss of wildlife are among the most common and far-reaching impacts of armed conflicts on the environment.

Sri Lanka is identified as one of the biodiversity hotspots in Asia. Although many of the endemic species are found in the hill country, the low country dry zone is home to some of the most seriously threatened species of wildlife. Following the protracted armed conflict, it appears that defaunation rather than deforestation poses a greater immediate threat to wildlife in Sri Lanka.