Thursday, August 24, 2023

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the Indian state of Goa. This sanctuary is the only extensive stretch of lowland monsoon forests remaining in Goa.

The sanctuary is known for its lush green forests and diverse flora and fauna. It is home to a variety of plant species, including tall trees and thick undergrowth. You can find numerous species of birds, butterflies, and insects here. Additionally, it houses various species of mammals, including the Indian giant squirrel, Indian pangolin, and leopard.

Cotigao is a popular destination for birdwatchers, as it offers opportunities to spot a wide range of bird species. Some of the bird species you might encounter include the Malabar pied hornbill, yellow-billed babbler, and the white-eyed eagle.

The sanctuary has observation towers that allow visitors to view wildlife in their natural habitat. These towers provide excellent vantage points to watch animals and birds without disturbing them.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary provides a tranquil escape for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts in the midst of the bustling beach scene that Goa is known for. It's a great place to experience the natural beauty and biodiversity of this coastal state in India.

Table of Contents

  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Canacona Taluka of South Goa district in the Indian state of Goa. It is situated in the southwestern part of Goa, near the border with Karnataka. 

The sanctuary is easily accessible by road and is approximately an hour's drive from Palolem Beach, which is a popular tourist destination in Goa.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is Dabolim Airport, also known as Goa International Airport. It's located in Dabolim, which is approximately 60-70 kilometers away from the sanctuary. The airport is the main gateway to Goa and is well-connected to major cities in India and some international destinations.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is Canacona Railway Station, also known as Chaudi Railway Station. It's located in Canacona town, which is around 10-15 kilometers from the sanctuary. Canacona Railway Station is a stop on the Konkan Railway route and is well-connected to various major railway stations across India.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary History

What is the history of Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary?

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary has a history rooted in conservation and the protection of its unique biodiversity. Here's an overview of its history:

Establishment: Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1968 with the goal of conserving the diverse flora and fauna of the area. The sanctuary was officially declared as a protected area to ensure the conservation of its natural resources.

Conservation Efforts: The sanctuary was established as a response to the increasing threats to Goa's natural habitats due to urbanization, development, and habitat destruction. By designating Cotigao as a wildlife sanctuary, the government aimed to provide a safe haven for the local wildlife and plant species.

Flora and Fauna Documentation: Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary has also been a site of scientific research and documentation. Researchers and biologists have conducted studies to better understand the various plant and animal species that inhabit the sanctuary. This information contributes to broader knowledge of Goa's ecology and helps in formulating effective conservation strategies.

Tourism and Awareness: As the sanctuary gained recognition for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife, it also began attracting tourists and nature enthusiasts. The sanctuary management has made efforts to promote responsible eco-tourism, allowing visitors to appreciate the wilderness while minimizing their impact on the environment.

Infrastructure Development: Over the years, the sanctuary management has developed infrastructure like walking trails, observation towers, and visitor centers. These facilities enhance the visitor experience and provide opportunities for wildlife observation and nature education.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 85.65 square kilometers (33 square miles). Despite being one of the smaller wildlife sanctuaries in India, Cotigao is significant in terms of its biodiversity and conservation efforts. 

The sanctuary's relatively compact size allows for more focused conservation and management activities, contributing to the preservation of its diverse flora and fauna.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is home to several rivers and streams that flow through its lush landscape. These water bodies contribute to the sanctuary's overall biodiversity and provide important habitats for various species of plants and animals. One of the significant rivers that runs through or near the sanctuary is the Talpona River.

Talpona River:

The Talpona River is one of the prominent water bodies in the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. It flows through the sanctuary's forested areas, adding to the natural beauty and ecological diversity of the region. The presence of a river provides water sources for wildlife, supports aquatic ecosystems, and enhances the overall biodiversity of the sanctuary.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

What is the flora of Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary?

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its rich and diverse flora, encompassing various types of vegetation ranging from moist deciduous to semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. 

Here are some of the prominent plant species you mentioned that can be found in the sanctuary:

(1) Moist Deciduous Trees:

These trees shed their leaves during the dry season. They include species like Malabar tamarind (Garcinia morella), which is a tropical fruit-bearing tree known for its tangy fruit.

(2) Semi-Evergreen Trees:

Semi-evergreen forests maintain a mix of green foliage throughout the year, with some leaf shedding. Knema attenuata, also known as White Cluster Pine, and Hopea wightiana are examples of semi-evergreen tree species.

(3) Evergreen Trees:

Evergreen forests retain their leaves all year round, creating a dense canopy. Tetrameles nudiflora, Blackboard Tree (Alstonia scholaris), and Flacourtia montana are some of the evergreen species that can be found in the sanctuary.

(4) Other Notable Species:

Machilus macrantha, Carallia brachiata, and Artocarpus lacucha are additional tree species that contribute to the diverse flora of the sanctuary.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

Which animals are found in Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary?

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, including various species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Here are some of the notable fauna species that can be found within the sanctuary:


  • Tiger
  • Slender Loris
  • Flying Squirrel
  • Indian Pangolin
  • Four-horned Antelope
  • Mouse Deer


  • Malabar Trogon
  • Heartspotted Woodpecker
  • Malay Night Heron
  • Speckled Piculet


  • Flying Lizard
  • Gliding Snake
  • Malabar Pit Viper
  • Humpnosed Pit Viper
  • Malabar Tree Toad

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary?

A. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Canacona Taluka of South Goa district in the Indian state of Goa. It is situated in the southwestern part of Goa, near the border with the state of Karnataka. The sanctuary is approximately 60-70 kilometers away from the state capital, Panaji. It is known for its lush green landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and its role in conserving the natural heritage of the region.

Q. Which is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa?

A. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa. It covers an area of approximately 85.65 square kilometers (33 square miles)

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

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