ROQUE DIAS | NT
MARGAO: The biodiversity management committee of Curtorim has achieved the unachievable: the spirited team has meticulously prepared people’s biodiversity register detailing the flora and fauna of the village, which has been known as the granary of Salcete.
The exercise, which was undertaken in the pursuance of the Biological Diversity Act 2002 and Rules 2004 was aimed at conserving the biodiversity of the village.
The initiative, which was supported by the Curtorim panchayat, also wanted to get the tag of ‘biodiversity heritage site’ for the village.
It has been hoped that the profiling and identifications of the flora and fauna will also help preserve water bodies and khazan lands of Curtorim.
Curtorim BMC convenor J Santano Rodrigues explained that fieldworkers have found that the village is host to some 250 varieties of birds, which are either resident, migratory or vagrant.
“The birds visit forestlands, wetlands, farmlands and scrublands of the village,’’ Rodrigues said.
Curtorim is also host to at least 15 types of mammals including bonnet macaques, langurs, mongooses, jackals, toddy cats, leopards, Indian flying foxes, Indian field mice and hares.
The biodiversity study has brought to the fore 21 types of reptiles including garden lizards and Indian spectacled cobras.
Rodrigues and his team have been doggedly pursuing the tag of the biodiversity heritage village. The tag may come in near future as the team has completed all formalities.
Praising the biodiversity team for the wonderful work, member secretary of the Goa Biodiversity Board Pradeep Sarmokadam said that it is not easy to collect such information on the flora and fauna. One requires dedication and determination, besides a spirited team, he said.
“Curtorim is the first village which has wonderfully brought out the people’s biodiversity register,” Sarmokadam said.
The village, which has 21,000 human population, has been known as ‘granary of Salcete’ as it was the only village in the past where extensive cultivation of arable land was carried out.
The cultivation was facilitated by the liberal use of water from the five lakes – Angddi Tollem, Ralloi Tollem, Mai Tollem, Sonbem Tollem and Kum Tollem.
There are 172 varieties of plants and trees in the village, and 77 of them have different medicinal values. Some 32 varieties of trees are fruit bearing.
The biodiversity team has found that as many as 54 varieties of birds are found in the wetlands, while 84 varieties of birds are found in the forestlands.
Some 21 varieties of birds are found in the wetlands and paddy fields, while 16 varieties of birds are found only in the farmlands and another 16 only in the forestlands.
Birds like forest wagtails, yellow wagtails, white wagtails, large-pied wagtails are found in the wetlands, paddy fields, scrublands, forestlands and other habitats of Curtorim.
Resident birds like black kites, brahminy kites and shikara are seen in the wetlands, paddy fields, scrublands and also in forest areas, while birds like Franklin’s Prinia and Plain Prinia are found in the paddy fields, scrublands and forestlands.
Several medicinal plants are found in the village including poison nut, aloe vera, china rose, tumbo and adulsa.
The fruit bearing trees found in the village give fruits like pineapples, boram, cashews, charam, kadam, keli, oondi, patpanas, papaya, charam, chunnam, kaneram, kanglam, karandam, karmalam, nirpanas, karande, mulberry, chikoos, aanon, anter, mangoes, ambade, toring and many more.