Goa is not only famous for its beaches and historical sites but also for its rich biodiversity. The state is home to several wildlife sanctuaries that offer a chance to explore its natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. Here are some notable wildlife sanctuaries in Goa:
- Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in the Western Ghats, this sanctuary is the largest protected area in Goa. It is home to diverse flora and fauna, including mammals like Indian bison, tigers, leopards, and various bird species. The Dudhsagar Waterfalls are also a part of this sanctuary.
- Mollem National Park: This park is within the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and is known for its lush forests, waterfalls, and a wide range of animal species, including the critically endangered white-rumped vulture.
- Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary: Known for its dense forests and unique ecosystem, Cotigao is famous for its resident wildlife, including Indian giant squirrels, various bird species, and butterflies. A treetop watchtower offers great views of the surroundings.
- Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is smaller in size but is home to a variety of animals, including sambar deer, gaur, and Indian bison. It also has a zoo, botanical garden, and nature education center.
- Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in South Goa, Netravali is known for its dense forests, pristine rivers, and a variety of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and the rare king cobra.
- Carambolim Lake: While not a traditional sanctuary, Carambolim Lake is an important wetland and bird-watching site. It attracts migratory and resident bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts.
- Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: Named after the renowned ornithologist Salim Ali, this sanctuary is located on Chorao Island and is a haven for various bird species, including mangrove-dwelling birds.
- Carambolim Lake: This is a haven for birdwatchers, attracting a variety of migratory and resident bird species.
Visiting these wildlife sanctuaries not only allows you to appreciate Goa’s natural beauty but also offers a chance to see and learn about its unique flora and fauna. From lush forests to wetlands and rivers, these sanctuaries provide a glimpse into the region’s diverse ecosystems and are ideal for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.