The most well-known and largest coral reef in Sri Lanka, the Bar Reef Marine Santuary, is situated two kilometers off the coast of Kalpitiya, a former royal port that served for many centuries. It's more precisely in the Mannar District of northern Sri Lanka, near to the Jaffna region. Plate corals, among other things, make up the majority of this system of patch reefs.
Additionally, it is threatened by seagrass beds and deeper sandstone reefs. For more details on these habitats, please refer to the section for the Hikkaduwa Reef. diving or taking a tour in a glass-bottom boat One of the top things to do on Sri Lanka's west coast is a visit to Bar Reef. Only the most skilled swimmers are asked to explore the reef because there are no sandy locations to relax during a dive. Additionally, laying an anchor is not at all recommended due to the paucity of sandy places. Under a metal anchor's weight, coral is readily harmed. The sea is remarkably clear and sunny on calm days, with little dirt and debris floating through the water. The primary constituents of coral reefs are hard corals, which develop in shallow water to provide food for the inside-growing algae. For further information regarding the dynamics of reefs and their environment, please check the section for the Hikkaduwa Reef.
In the case of creatures capable of movement, the traditional inhabitants of a reef are small, brightly colored shrimp, crabs, and various kinds of detrivorous polycheate worms, but sessile animals also live here among the corals. These include filter-feeding tunicates and marine sponges. The typical Indian Ocean reef fish are among the fish found here. These include butterflyfish, angelfish, and other tiny, vibrant exotic animals. Slow-moving thick-lipped groupers are among the largest native predators of the reef.
Bar Reef Marine Santuary is home to the common blacktip reef shark. For more information on this intriguing carnivore, see Hikkaduwa.
Dolphin packs also go on offshore hunts.
These pelagic animals prefer to hunt in deeper, open areas, yet they occasionally have success in shallow waters. There will be much larger cetaceans in Bar Reef. The majority of migratory big whales breed in the tropics, although most smaller cetaceans, such as porpoises and dolphins, are very free-ranging. Our waters are home to bottlenose, spinner, common, and spotted dolphins. The most well-known and 'classic' dolphins, they have the typical delphinid morphology with a cylindrical, muscular body and thin beaked jaws.
The dugong is another marine mammal that lives near the Bar Reef coast. It grazes on seagrass and other plants while swimming slowly through the shallows all over the Indian Ocean. The calm dugong is a far cry from the quick, rapacious dolphins and whales.
The reef experienced a significant bleaching incident in 1998, although it recovered quickly afterward. Coral bleaching, a mass extinction caused by sharp temperature variations, pollution, or other factors, causes the coral polyps to lose their color and turn white.
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