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Cotigaon Wildlife Sanctuary
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Cotigaon Wildlife Sanctuary established in 1968 is located in South Goa district and occupies an area of 85.65 sq km. The sanctuary lies between the longitudes 74o07'E to 74o15'E and latitudes 14o55'N to 15o 02'N with an elevation of up to 500 m above sea level. The sanctuary gets its water supply from the Talpona river.

Vegetation in the sanctuary consists of west coast tropical evergreen, west coast tropical semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests (Lainer 2004).

Mammalian inhabitants of the sanctuary include leopards (Panthera pardus), Indian bison or gaur (Bos gaurus), sambar (Cervus unicolor), mouse deer (Moschiola meminna), chital or spotted deer (Axis axis) and barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak). Other mammalian inhabitants of the sanctuary are common langurs (Semnopithecus entellus), red giant flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista), slender loris (Loris lyddekerianus), small Indian civet (Viverricula indica), jackals (Canis aureus) and the India pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) (Lainer 2004).

Though designated as an Important Bird Area not much is known about the bird life of Cotigao. However, 'Critically endangered' birds like the oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis) and six endemic bird species like the Malabar grey hornbill (Ocyceros griseus), blue-winged parakeet (Psittacula columboides), Nilgiri wood-pigeon (Columba elphinstonii), grey-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus priocephalus), white-bellied blueflycatcher (Cyornis pallipes) and white-bellied treepie (Dendrocitta leucorgastra) have been spotted here. Twelve of the 15 Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest) species including the Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus), white-cheeked barbet (Megalaima viridis), Malabar whistlingthrush (Myiophonus horsfieldii) and yellow- browed bulbul (Iole indica) are also seen here (Lainer 2004).

The sanctuary has many interesting species of reptiles, amphibians, insects and fish, which have yet to be scientifically studied and identified. The ancient Jeevottam Partagal Math, famous for Vedic studies too lies close to the sanctuary (Lainer 2004). Major threats to this sanctuary include livestock grazing, poaching and encroachment of forest lands (Lainer 2004).

References and useful links:

Lainer, H .2004. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. In: Important Bird Areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. (Islam, M. Z and Rahmani, A. R).Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society and Birdlife International, UK. pp 368-369.

Menon, V. 2003. A field guide to Indian mammals. DK (India) Pvt Ltd and Penguin Book India (P) Ltd. 201 pp.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. . Accessed on 10 January 2008

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. Accessed on 10 January 2008

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. Accessed on 10 January 2008

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