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Location India, Goa
Central coordinates 74o 12.22' East  14o 59.07' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 8,565 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Canacona taluka, is 10 km southeast of Chaudi. The IBA lies partly in the Western Ghats. It was established in 1969 to protect a remote and vulnerable area of forest lining the Goa-Karnataka interstate border. The terrain is hilly and includes undulating uplands. Many small rivulets flow through the Sanctuary in the monsoon, but dry up in summer. The ancient Jeevottam Partagal Math, noted for Vedic studies, lies in the vicinity of the Sanctuary. The main vegetation types are West Coast Tropical Evergreen Forest, West Coast Semi-Evergreen Forest, and Moist Deciduous Forest. The evergreen forests are mainly present on higher altitudes and on riversides.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Not much is known of the bird life of Cotigao but Anil Pinto (pers. comm. 2002) has reported Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon Columba elphinstonii, a globally threatened species (BirdLife International 2001). The site lies in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area (EBA 123) in which Stattersfield et al. (1998) have listed 16 species as Restricted Range. Six have been seen till now, but more are likely to be found once detailed studies are conducted. Of the 15 Biome-10 species (BirdLife International, undated), 12 are reported from Cotigao. Of the remaining three, the Ceylon Frogmouth Batrachostomus moniliger is likely to occur in the thick Tropical Evergreen Forest of the IBA, although it has not been listed by Lainer (1999) or Grubh and Ali (1976). The Indian Ediblenest Swiftlet Collocalia unicolor “may be encountered anywhere in Goa, but most frequently in c. 5 km deep strip along the coast” (Lainer 1999). It is also likely to occur in Cotigao, although it has not been reported from there. The Hill Swallow Hirundo domicola, (called Pacific Swallow H. tahitica by Grimmett et al. 1999), a bird of the southern Western Ghats, is reported as stray in Goa (Lainer 1999 calls it House Swallow).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The Leopard Panthera pardus is the apex predator in this small Sanctuary, mainly on Sambar Cervus unicolor, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak and Mouse Deer Moschiola meminna. Gaur Bos frontalis is also found, but an adult is too large a prey for a leopard. The Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista is present.

Slender Loris Loris tardigradus, and Pangolin Manis crassicaudata are present but difficult to see due to their nocturnal habit. Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica and Golden Jackal Canis aureus are the smaller predators. Cotigao has many species of interesting reptiles, including King Cobra Ophiophagus hannah, but not much is known about them. Similarly, the freshwater fish have not been adequately surveyed.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Nilgiri Woodpigeon Columba elphinstonii resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
White-bellied Blue-flycatcher Cyornis pallipes resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2003 low not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Cotigao Sanctuary 8,565 is identical to site 8,565  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Heinz Lainer.


BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.

Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp and T. Inskipp (1999) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Grubh, R. B. and S. Ali (1976) Birds of Goa. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 73(1): 42-58.

Lainer, H. (1999) The Birds of Goa. Pt . I & II. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 96(2): 203-220, 96(3): 405-423.

Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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