Goa Fauna

Animals

There are almost fifty species of mammals found in Goa. Most of these are unfortunately hardly ever visible to the average visitor. Most roam the dense woodlands in the Western Ghats, in the sparsely populated border areas of Goa.

Among the animals found here are the leopard, monkeys, deer, leopard cat, Indian civet, the gaur or Indian bison, the sloth bear, the Indian porcupine, the pangolin, the slender loris, the wild boar and the mongoose.

Monkeys are found all across Goa. The most common species is the pink-bottomed macaque followed by the Hanuman langur. Goa has four species of bats, the fruit bat, the Dormers bat, the rufous horse-shoe bat, and the Malay fox vampire.

Flying foxes are also present in large numbers. Most of these are found in the rural interior areas. The Indian giant squirrel, the smaller three-striped squirrel and the five-striped palm squirrel are also found in most areas.

There are four species of deer: the cheetal or spotted axis deer, the sambar, the barking deer and the mouse deer. The smaller deer are preyed on by predators: the striped hyena, the jackal, and the wild dog.

Long-beaked dolphins are quite often seen in the shallow waters of Goa's more isolated beaches.

Reptiles & Amphibians

Goa has a large reptilian/amphibian population. This includes the ubiquitous common house gecko, a variety of frogs and the quite rare monitor lizard. Two species of crocodile are mostly found along the banks of a few inland waterways.

Twenty-three species of snakes are found in Goa. The nonpoisonous variety of snakes include the common blind snake, the Russell sand boa, the Indian python, the Indian wart snake, trinket snake, Indian rat snake, golden tree snake, common wolf snake, chequered keelback, striped keelback, Indian gamma and common green whip snake.

Among the few venomous snakes in Goa are the cobras, including the king cobra, the common Indian krait, the coral snake, the Russell's viper, the saw-scaled viper and the bamboo pit viper.

Freshwater turtles and rare marine turtles which come ashore between October and December to lay their eggs in the sand are also found in Goa. The main nesting sites are at Morjim in North Goa and Agonda and Galgibag in South Goa, although there is sporadic nesting of olive ridleys along the entire coast of Goa.

There has been a dramatic decline in the number of nests in recent years.

There are a number of important actions, visitors to Goa can take to help protect and save the sea turtles:

Turtles will not nest if there is activity or bright lights on the beach. At night do not walk along the turtle nesting beaches, do not shine lights or build fires. If you meet a turtle, do not flash lights, do not use flash photography or touch the turtle.

Turtles leave tracks in the sand after nesting. The Turtle Protection Centre people use the tracks to locate and protect the nest. Do not cover the tracks or dig up the eggs.

Tell the Turtle Protection Centre people on the beach (or the Tourist Police) if you see a turtle or turtle tracks.

The olive ridley is mostly carnivorous, feeding on such creatures as jellyfish, snails, crabs and shrimp. Litter, especially plastic which can be mistaken for jellyfish, can kill the turtles if they eat the litter. Help to keep the beach free from litter.

Stray dogs are a problem on a number of beaches as they attack the turtles and dig up their nests. Please do not feed or encourage dogs on the beach.

Thank you for your support and co-operation in helping to save the sea turtles in Goa.

Birds

Goa has an abundant birdlife. There are some very colourful species found in Goa and among these are the three common species of kingfisher: the stork-billed kingfisher is the largest and most distinctive, the breasted kingfisher and and the common kingfisher are the others.

Other common and brightly coloured species include the grass-green, blue and yellow bee-eaters, the golden oriole, and the Indian roller, Hoopes, purple sunbirds, and several kinds of bulbuls, babblers and drongos. The exotic paradise flycatcher is fairly widespread in Goa and among the region's most exquisite birds.

The snowy white cattle egret, the large egret and the little egret and herons are most common in the paddy fields along with cows and buffaloes.

The beautiful whitebellied fish eagle, the brahminy kite and the pariah kite are birds of prey found around towns and fishing villages.

House crows, jackdaws, king vultures and the white-backed vulture are also seen in most areas. In the state's forests are found the grey hornbill, the Indian pied hornbill and the magnificent great pied hornbill, several species of woodpecker including the lesser goldenback woodpecker and the Indian great black woodpecker, the red junglefowl, the grey or Sonnerat's jungle fowl.