Goa is a land whose major portion is allotted to forests and wildlife. Due to deforestation and extinction of certain species of animals becoming a serious issue, the wildlife sanctuaries in Goa are doing their best to preserve their flora and fauna.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary has the sambar, gaur (Indian bison) and wild boar, amongst others animals. Elephants have been spotted here at times. Perhaps they come in from across Karnataka to enjoy the sea breeze and check out Goa. The sanctuary houses a botanical garden, a rose garden, a small deer-park and a zoo, which was initially established to shelter orphaned animals.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
At the confluence of the Mandovi and Mapusa Rivers lies the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, spread across an area of 2sq. km. in the Charoa Island. The wildlife sanctuary supports rich mangrove forests, which are home to a host of birds, a sizeable population of flying foxes, jackals, crocodiles, turtles and some other life forms endemic to coastal wildlife.
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Getting to the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is a little tedious; but if you are in the mood to be in the middle of woods and discover the quieter side of Goa, the journey is well worth the trouble. Catigao is Goa’s second largest wildlife reserve. If you go with the intention of seeing some of India’s legendary fauna here, then you could be in for a disappointment, as spotting the more famous wild animals is not extremely common. But the expansive forestland is a welcome change.
Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
The Bhagvan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary covers around 240 sq kms. Out of this, the forest-clad slopes of the Western Ghats and its valleys are the biggest attractions. It is also the biggest of the three sanctuaries of Goa. The sanctuary is rich in wildlife. It is a paradise for bird watchers. There are also many important geological and historical features in this sanctuary.