If you visit Goa, and view it with the lens of diverse greenery, you will be left speechless. Goa maybe a miniscule on the Western coast of India, but it possesses a wealth of flora and fauna. Cocooned in the shadow of the grand Sahyadri Mountains and the soothing Arabian Sea, the hues of blue constantly flow as 11 rivers and 42 tributaries pass by it. One-third of the Goan landmass is under forest cover. Living in Goa, one gets to experience a tropical climate. The flora and fauna of Goa are the results of these climatic conditions.
Despite its diminutive size, Goa has been home to diverse flora and fauna. A surprising array of avian, marine, and mammalian fauna thrives within its borders. It is very likely that you will encounter dolphins offshore or in estuaries. Beyond them, and unique algae, the famous Olive Ridley Turtle proudly call Goa their home. The Galgibaga Beach in Canacona South Goa is the most popular nesting site. A staggering number of only 8 lakh nesting female Olive Ridley are left in the world, and 40% of that population resides in India.
Goan skies are privileged with some spectacular birdlife too. The diversity in Goa is on full display at its wildlife sanctuaries that house over 270 species of birds, 48 varieties of animals, 83 marine mammals, and more than 60 reptiles.
Open scrub jungles in the company of moist deciduous, evergreen, and lateritic tree species comprise the flora in Goa. Goa is also home to spice plantations like, cinnamon, black pepper, and clove, to name a few. The typical tropical fruits and vegetables grown, add a burst of colour to the land. In fact, the Western Ghats are home to some of the densest rainforests in Asia, responsible for regulating the climate of the state. This flora is essential to the survival of a vast pool of aquatic and semi-aquatic life. It also binds the coast together and protects the land from tidal surges and cyclones.
It’s been two decades since the National Geographic equated the Flora and Fauna of Goa to the Amazons and Congo basins. It is our duty, as a country, to protect this amazing gift of nature.