Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the major attractions of Canacona, which was established in the year 1968. Located in the South Goa District, the wildlife reserve is spread over an area of 86 sq km. The distinguishing feature of the sanctuary is the variegated flora in three forests, which include moist deciduous, semi-evergreen and evergreen forests.
There are eight nature trails across the reserve. The length of the nature trails ranges between 500 metres and 5 km. Six watchtowers, along with one tree top, can be used for viewing the varied flora and fauna of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is the originating point of different rivers, which include the Gal and Talpona.
Some of the notable species inhabiting the sanctuary are flying squirrel, slender loris, Indian pangolin, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, Malabar pit viper, white-bellied woodpecker, etc. Lesser-known species like velvet-fronted nuthatch, heart-spotted woodpecker, speckled piculet, Malayan bittern, etc. can also be seen.
The sanctuary has cottages, a canteen, amphitheatre, children’s park, cycling trail and gardens for visitors. The tribal hamlets of Velip community around the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary provide scope to explore a distinguished lifestyle and culture. Situated near NH17, the sanctuary is well connected by roadways.