The Region

The Chorla Ghats forests are part of the Mhadei Bio region. This area is home to tigers, leopards, gaur, chital, sloth bear, critically-endangered bats and scores of other species, and serves as a crucial corridor between the Bhimgad WLS and its reserve forsests and the Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary of Goa.

This habitat is contiguous with the Anshi National Park, Dandeli WLS, Bhagwan Mahavir National WLS, Cotigao WLS, Mhadei WLS and Netravali WLS and the Tiger corridor of Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra and is part of a crucial biodiversity vault of the threatened Western Ghats.

This entire region is sustained and supported by the Haltar nallah that give birth to famed Vazra Sakla falls in our area, which cascades a fabulous 143 meters to sustains the Valvanti river.

This, along with the Kalsa Bhandura nallah and their tributaries rejuvenate and support the Mhadei river- Goa’s lifeline.

A treasure trove of amphibian diversity, researchers from the Mhadei Research Center have recently discovered the Mhadei caecilian, a new species of amphibian to the world of science in this habitat. Amphibian researchers strongly believe that many more species await discovery in these wet evergreen and mixed moist deciduous forests and efforts to conserve these areas will be a boon to science. Besides this, two other species, the Goa caecilian and the Yellow striped caecilian were also described from here by researchers from MRC.

The cave formations and intrinsic forest collage of ecosystems forests support two of the rarest and endemic species of bats in the world namely the Wroughton’s free tailed bats Otomops wroughtoni which is classified under Schedule 1 under the Wildlife Protection Act and is classified as Data deficient with population trends unknown. The other species Theobald’s tomb bats Taphozus theobaldi is data deficient and very little is known about its breeding biology and conservation status. Researchers with the Mhadei Research Center are working on these and other species and believe that these forests are the hunting grounds of these insectivorous bats.

Besides the tiger, the forests support threatened and endangered species of mammals like a. Indian dhole Cuon alpines IUCN Status- Endangered. WPA- Sch II b. Indian gaur Bos gaurus IUCN Status- Vulnerable. WPA- Sch II c. Leopard Panthera pardus IUCN Status- Near threatened. WPA- Sch I. d. Slender Loris Loris tardigradus IUCN Status-Vulnerable. WPA- Sch I.

The flora of the region is extremely diverse and includes riverine and plateau vegetation besides high tree canopy forests. Myristica swamps and unique flora in Mhadei and in Bhimgad forests depend on water.

The Chorla Ghats forests are a niche habitat to lesser-known endemic mammals of the Western Ghats of India including the brown civet and the small Indian Travancore flying squirrel. The waters of the Halatr nullah and the Surla rivers sustain multi canopy forests that are crucial to the survival of these charismatic and yet hitherto lesser-known mammals of the Western Ghats.

The avian fauna is extremely rich and is supported by the presence of fruiting trees and an array of insect diversity. Various ornithologists have catalogued an estimated 220 plus species in the Bhimgad region. The Great Pied Hornbill, the Imperial Pigeon and the Ceylon Frogmouth are some of them. Both, the Mhadei WLS and the Bhimgad WLS are designated Important Bird Areas by Birdlife International.

The flora of the region is extremely diverse and includes riverine and plateau vegetation besides high tree canopy forests. Being part of the Western Ghats landscape these areas are among the 200 Top Priority Global Eco regions of the World as identified by WWF International.