The rugged western ghats make it an ideal haven for many species of birds and animals and also provide a corridor for migration. The western ghats called the Sahyadris in Goa, extend for a total of 600kms in Goa of their total length of 3702 kms. The widest belt of forests along the western ghats is in Goa and neighbouring Karnataka state. The high rainfall accounts for this because the elevation of the mountain range here is lower. The coastal areas on the other hand, provide the tropical backdrop. There are several plants and trees unique to Goa and some introduced by the Portuguese, most famous of which is the green Chilies, which today has become an essential ingredient in the Indian Curry. The tropical location of Goa is responsible for its warm humid climate and laterite and lateritic Clayey-loamy soil. The mean temperature even in the coldest month is over 20 degrees centigrade Average rainfall is over 500mm along the western ghats and a little less elsewhere. The length of the dry season averages from 5 to 6 months. For all these reasons, the dominant vegetation is of the moist decidous type. Goa is endowed with over 1512 documented species of plants, over 275 genera of birds, over 48 genera of animals and over 60 genera of reptiles. About 10% of Goa is set aside as wildlife reserve and this area includes four large wildlife sanctuaries.
This is Goa's only bird sanctuary, 1.8 Sq Km in area. A variety of local and migratory birds can be found on this island.
The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Goan town of Mollem
Its mini zoo, sprawling deer park in natural habitat, botanical and rose gardens attract people throughout the year.
If one wants to see multi-storeyed forests with tall trees and rare plants, where hardly any light reaches the ground, Cotigao Sanctuary is the place to go.