Goa Bird Festival — Valpoi, Goa, Jan 17-19, 2020

Ramki Sreenivasan

Goa is home to over 450 species of birds, both residents and migratory.

Come January, Goa Forest Department is celebrating Third Edition of the Bird Festival from 17th to 19th Jan 2020. Main events are planned at Valpoi and Surla of Sattari Taluka.

The Bird Festival aims to generate awareness towards wildlife and conservation of their habitat with special emphasis on birds.

Registration in advance is solicited from all interested participants to the Bird Festival which will be done on … Read More

Whale and Dolphin Surprises in Goa

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A group of us ventured out to sea off the coast of Goa on a fishing trawler for a full-day survey of pelagic birds. These birds spend most of their lives out at sea, living a solitary life, and visit certain islands only during breeding season. We started our explorations in Goan waters in 2017, but our last two trips, on 14th and 21st October, 2018 were exciting and memorable for a completely different reason.

We usually start off by … Read More

Goa’s Marine Mammals in Danger

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Skipping the Important Details — What About Mormugao’s Marine Mammals?

The coast of Goa has a rich variety of coastal and marine habitats which, besides supporting a lot of biodiversity, also sustains the tourism industry that forms the state’s economic backbone. All of this is now on the verge of destruction, with the latest developments proposed by the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), in association with Jindal SWPL, Adani and Vedanta.

This plan, to expand the port and develop a large … Read More

Citizen Science: Linking People to Conservation

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In August 2014, Parag Rangnekar, the State Coordinator of Goa for the Indian Bird Conservation Network, was asked to send proposals for identification of potential new Important Bird and Biodiversity Area’s (IBA) from Goa. This was received with great enthusiasm and delight by all bird watchers of the state. Discussions were initiated regarding potential areas that could be identified as IBA’s, which would then aid in generating more awareness to help protect these areas locally. However, we soon realised that … Read More

Empty Sea Syndrome

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Overfishing and unsustainable practices are causing fish to disappear from the world’s oceans at unprecedented rates. Pooja Rathod and Tiasa Adhya interact with fishermen in Malvan along the Maharashtra coast to learn about the impact of trawlers and the exploitation of dwindling marine resources.

“Pannas… don hazaar saahashe… paan she sattar!” The bidding calls started at Rs. 50 and reached Rs. 5,000. The monsoon month of July notwithstanding, trade was brisk inside the fish auction market in Malvan, a small Read More

Otters in a Famous Tourist Destination

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Beaches and sunsets are what come to mind when most people think of Goa. This small state in western India has earned its reputation as one of the most favoured top tourist destinations. But very few know that Goa also has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Much of the eastern rim of Goa falls within the Western Ghats (a global biodiversity hotspot). Goa has an area of 3,702 sq.km with several rivers spread across the state, all of … Read More

Mass Bycatch Mortality of Sea Snakes, Goa

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Bycatch – the incidental, unintentional take of non-commercial, non-target species or undersized animals in fishing gear — has been an ever-increasing threat to the planet’s marine life, and is today considered one of the major threats to marine biodiversity the world over. The problem of bycatch is now a widely recognised and well-documented menace to threatened wildlife, including marine mammals, sea turtles, sharks and rays, and endangered seabirds such as the wandering albatross. Witnessing first-hand the devastation caused even by … Read More

Urgent — Help Safeguard the Western Ghats!

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Urgent! Time is short, so please act immediately – your appeal to the Central Government can help safeguard the Western Ghats.  Use the form below to write to the minister. 

I support the Government’s decision to declare 56,825 square kilometres of the Western Ghats as Eco Sensitive Area (see contents of the letter below the form). 


This campaign is now closed. We received support from more than 3500 concerned citizens. We are now sending a consolidated letter to the ministry, Read More

Mopa Airport Risks Wildlife and Livelihoods in Goa

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Ecological and social impacts apart, detractors have questioned the economic viability of the airport.

We are at the Barazan plateau on the northern tip of Goa, more famous as the site of Mopa, the state’s contentious upcoming airport, peering with delight at lumpy mounds of defecation not unlike the gobar of the venerated cow. Yes, delight, because that particular turd belongs to the largest bovine in the world, the gaur, or the Indian bison as it is also called.

A … Read More

New Frog Species Described and Named After Goa State

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In the lowland areas of the Western Ghats of Goa and in the hilly tracts of Belgaum, it’s quite common to hear the tinkling 12 to 14-note ‘trick, trick’ chorus call from mud pools, paddy fields and local water bodies in the late evenings during the monsoon. Many of these are terrestrial frogs calling to attract females. These frogs belong to the amphibian genus Fejervarya of the family Dicroglossidae and are commonly known as either ‘cricket frogs’ or ‘fejervaryan frogs’. … Read More

Bullfrogs in a Bucket

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This image highlights the serious problem of Indian Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) poaching during the monsoon. We came across a paddy farmer near Jog falls, Mavingundi, Karnataka, who had collected nearly 30 bullfrogs and kept them in a bucket waiting to hand them over to a guy from Goa who was supposed to come and collect the frogs for the Goan Bar/Restaurant market. They are sold as ‘Jumping chicken’ there. We immediately rescued and released them plus reported the poacher to … Read More

Tourism Devastates Turtle Habitat, Morjim Beach, Goa

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Olive Ridley Sea Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) are the smallest and the most abundant sea turtles found in the world. These turtles are known for their mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs like in coastal Odisha. Though found abundantly their numbers have been declining rapidly over the past few years and the species have been recognized as vulnerable by the IUCN red list.

Morjim beach in Pernem, Goa, is … Read More

New Species Of Bronzeback Tree Snake Discovered In Western Ghats

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A new species of snake has been discovered in the Western Ghats. The snake was first spotted by nature enthusiasts in Amboli village in Maharashtra in 2001. The snake is predominantly bronze coloured, arboreal and when aggressive, expand their skin to reveal a blue coloured skin between the scales.

In 2003, Varad Giri, a deputy director and curator of the herpetological collection with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) saw a similar snake during his visit to Goa and took … Read More

Union Environment Ministry Invites Proposal to Declare a Tiger Reserve in Goa

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Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has invited a proposal from the State of Goa to declare Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a Tiger Reserve. In his letter to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, the Union Minister has said that there is evidence that the tigers in Goa are not merely transient animals, but a resident population. He almost mention that there is local community support for the proposal. Mhadei is a contiguous tiger landscape to Karnataka’s Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary and Anshi Dandeli … Read More