Recently, in a significant development for tiger conservation efforts, the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court has issued a directive to the Goa government to notify the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and its surrounding areas as a tiger reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 within three months from 24th July 2023.
GS III: Environment and Ecology
Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary
Location and Landscape:
- Situated in the Northern part of Goa, Sanguem taluka, near Valpoi town.
- Boasts picturesque waterfalls, including Vazra Sakla Falls and Virdi Falls.
- Famed for its nesting grounds of critically endangered Long-billed vultures near Vazra Falls.
- Showcases a diverse landscape with thick moist deciduous forests and some evergreen species.
- Noteworthy for sacred groves safeguarding rare and indigenous trees.
- Abounds with Indian gaur, Tigers, Barking deer, Sambar deer, Wild boar, Indian hare, and more.
- A haven for herpetologists, thanks to various snakes, including the ‘big four’ venomous snakes: Indian krait, Russell’s viper, Saw-scaled viper, and Spectacled cobra.
- Designated as an International Bird Area, providing a habitat for several bird species like Malabar parakeet and Rufous babbler.
- Plays a vital role in the conservation of tigers in Goa.
Unique Geographical Features:
- Home to the three highest peaks in Goa: Sonsogod (1027 mts), Talavche Sada (812 mts), and Vageri (725 mts).
- The lifeline of Goa, Mhadei River, originates in Karnataka, passes through the sanctuary, and meets the Arabian Sea at Panaji.
- Serves as a catchment area for the Mhadei River, ensuring its vital contribution to the region’s water resources.
-Source: The Hindu