Catigao Wildlife Sanctuary

The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, was established in 1969 to protect a remote and vulnerable area of forest lining the Goa- Karnataka border. It is situated in Canacona Taluka, in the south of Goa. Encompassing 86-sq-kms of mixed deciduous woodland, the reserve is certain to inspire tree lovers, but less likely to yield many wildlife sightings: its tigers and leopards were hunted out long ago, while the Gazelles, Sloth Bears, Porcupines, Panthers and Hyenas that allegedly lurk in the woods rarely appear.

The sanctuary is best visited between the months of October and March. Cotigao is a peaceful and scenic park.The sanctuary consists of mostly deciduous forest with evergreen and semi-evergreen patches. The vegetation is so thick that hardly any sunlight reaches the ground. You do, however, stand a good chance of spotting at least two species of monkey, a couple of wild boar and the odd gaur (the primeval-looking Indian bison), as well as plenty of birdlife.

The sanctuary is home to flying squirrels, Indian pangolins, four-horned antelopes, panthers, tigers and gazelles, sloth bears, indian bisons, hyenas, slender loris, mouse deer, wild boars and deers, malabar pit vipers. Birds like White-bellied woodpecker, Velvet-fronted nuthatch, Heart-spotted woodpecker, White-eyed eagle, Rufous woodpecker and Malabar crested eagle can also be spotted.

There are eight natural trails spread throughout the reserve that have lengths ranging from 500 m to 5 km. The wildlife can be observed from the vantage point of the watchtowers. There are six watchtowers in the sanctuary that can be used for watching the wildlife. Many rivers flow through the wildlife sanctuary with the Gal River and the Talpona River having their originating points within the sanctuary.