Goa has always left everyone spell bounded with its magnificent beauty and ravishing flora and fauna. Eco-tourism in Goa has always been an exquisite treat for the eyes. Eco-tourism is the presence of birds and animals around us! They must live well among us. They want to visit us.
Sanctuary and National Parks make the Eco-tourism in Goa.
Incredible bird life and ebullient animals define the living subsistence in Goa. Interestingly, only about 20% of the total land area of Goa is under wildlife conservation. Sanguem and Sattari are the wildlife hubs in Goa. For a perfect wildlife refuge, there are some ecological wildlife parks as well as sanctuaries located in Goa. Mentioned below are some of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks of Goa. Let’s explore Eco-tourism in Goa.
Ecotourism in Goa.
Goa is gifted with abundant natural beauty as it a part of the Western Ghats.
The Ghats are known as Sahyadri which means, goodness. They run through India on the Western boundary of the Indian Peninsula. In Goa, they form an outline of 600 kms.
Also, the coastal areas are tropical. Several plants and trees unique to Goa and some introduced by the Portuguese comprise a congenial mood for birds. This ‘easy change’ is of immense importance related to unique biophysical and ecological processes for Eco-tourism to happen.
Goa is rich with over 1512 documented species of plants, over 48 genera of animals, over 275 genera of birds, over 48 genera of animals and over 60 genera of reptiles.
Let’s see a checklist for Eco-tourism in Goa.
1. Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.
To start with, let me tell you a fantastic fact. Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary comprises water current meeting the tide. It seems animals understand the flow of water and come to it. Also, it is an excellent space for migratory birds in the mangrove habitat. Indeed, Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists.
Another key point is, this is the only bird sanctuary in Goa. A variety of local and migratory birds visit this island.
This Sanctuary is located in The Island of Chorão along the Mandovi River. Not to mention that it has its name after the eminent Indian ornithologist Salim Ali.
Ribander and Chorão are two places that connect the island with ferry service. They spread across 440 acres.
If it interests you, the sands here are changing, perhaps in texture. Ever heard of mud-skippers, fiddler crabs? Most of us haven’t.
People come from across the world to study Eco-tourism in Goa. They are not only our richness. They give us heritage.
2. The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary.
It is founded in 1968 amid of Canacona Taluka, South Goa District.
Cotigao is the southernmost National Park of Goa. It covers an area of 86 square kilometres on the border with the neighbouring state of Karnataka. Cotigao stands on banks of the rivers — Talpona and Galjibaga.
Imagine 30 meters high trees. You practically need to look higher towards the skies to cover the tree’s height! You get 18 meters moving stairways to reach the top for watching breathtakingly beautiful sights.
As the forest vegetation is thick quite in Cotigao, Sunlight doesn’t reach the grounds in the forest quickly. If you understand technology, there are the deciduous- shedding leaves easily; semi-evergreen- leaves drop early, and new leave arrives immediately.
At present, the Department is capable of providing elementary facilities like snake-proof camping sites, canvas tents, reference material and loads of goodwill. For those who want to rough it out, there is no end of possibilities here.
To summarize, Indian fauna visible here are ‘Muridae Deer,’ ‘Giant Indian Flying Squirrel,’ ‘Four-Horn Antelope,’ ‘Lesser Grey Nuthatch,’ ‘Gaur (Indian Bison),’ ‘Bison,’ ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Porcupine,’ ‘Leopard’ and many other animals.
In fact, some would say it is not as lively as described. But, as Natural beings don’t wait for you. You are fortunate enough to sight them or not.
3. Bondla Forest.
It is the smallest forest in Goa. The Bondla wildlife sanctuary is about 50 Kilometers from Panaji and 38 Kilometers from Margao. Also, Bondla is 20 Kilometers East of Ponda.
At the present time, it is the smallest of the three wildlife sanctuaries of Goa. Since, Bondla is more of an ideal jungle resort, a major attraction for school going children and nature lovers.
It also hosts a deer park in natural habitat, botanical and rose gardens. With this intention, The Forest Department run site for jungle resort with tourist cottages.
Bondla also provides sanctuary to injured leopards, circus bears, and cobras. These are the animals who get hurt in their dealing with their trainers and other people. They are given treatment here, and their endangered life gets rehabilitation here.
Bondla zoo is known for its successful breeding of gaur. As it is the only zoo in Goa, many visit the zoo. The zoo provides an excellent environment to breed and do research on animals.
Gaur which the state animal is a frequent visitor in and around this area. You may spot here the sambar deer, Indian bison, Malabar giant squirrel, and the Indian peafowl. Also, over a hundred species of birds are residents of Bondla forest. In fact, the State Bird (Ruby Throated Yellow Bulbul) is widely seen. Also, the Common Grey Hornbill and Golden Backed Woodpecker are few of the daily visitors here.
4. The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary.
Along the north from Panaji on the road to Belgaum, is Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife sanctuary. As it is located in Goa town of Mollem with a total area of 240 sq km, it attracts many tourists. Since, it is surrounded by the North of Panaji on the road to Belgaum on the eastern border of Goa, with Karnataka 53 km away and 54 km away from Margao it is a popular place to for Eco-tourism in Goa.
To sum up, Thick forest-clad slopes of the Western Ghats are rich in wildlife. Also, it is a paradise for bird watchers. Gaur, Sambar, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Slender Toris, Jungle Cats, Malayan Giant Squirrels, Pythons, and Cobras are the species habiting this Sanctuary.
Also, there are significant geographical and historical features in this sanctuary. Jeeps are privately arranged to explore the interior of the forest.
The Department of Goa Tourism has built comfortable cottages and dormitories for tourists.
Entry Fee: Rs.10/- for an adult, Rs.5/- for a child and Rs.3/- for a student.
In short, Eco-tourism in Goa is exceptional and incredible! Birds and animals, migrate to Goa for natural reasons because it has sustenance and the promise to the fauna that they can survive here.