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Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is a 208.5-km2 (80.5-mi2) protected area in the Indian state of Goa in the Western Ghats of South India. It is located in the North Goa District, Sattari taluka near the town of Valpoi. The sanctuary is an area of high biodiversity, and is being considered to become a Project Tiger tiger reserve because of the presence of resident Bengal tigers.

The sanctuary is administered by the Goa State Forest Department. The RFO office is near the Forest Department office in Valpoi. The sanctuary is protected by 11 forest guards under the supervision of three round foresters. The sanctuary is divided into 16 beats with the three round foresters stationed in Kodal, Charavane and Caranzol in Sattari taluka. The sanctuary office has a four-wheel-drive vehicle and a motorcycle for patrolling.

Goa is the only state in India which has protected the complete Western Ghats section within the state. Goa’s four wildlife sanctuaries are located on the eastern side of the state in the Western Ghats covering an area of about 750 km2 (290 sq mi). The Mahdei Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park all fall within the Mhadei River basin.

The Mhadei River, known downstream as the Mandovi River, the lifeline of the state of Goa, originates in Karnataka, travels28.8 km (17.9 mi) in Karnataka, passes 9.4 km (5.8 mi) through the Mahdei Wildlife Sanctuary and meets the Arabian Sea at Panaji after traveling 81.2 km (50.5 mi) in Goa.

Mhadei Sanctuary is noted for its many waterfalls, especially the twin 143 m (469 ft) Vazra Sakla waterfalls and the Virdi Falls in the Chorla Ghats region on the escarpment of the Goa-Maharashtra-Karnataka border in the Swapnagandha valley forest near Virdi village. The 143-m Vazra Sakla falls are one of the most distinguishing landmarks of the region. These water of these falls is fed by the Haltar nullah and joins the Valvanti River in Virdi village of Maharashtra. The Valvanti River then joins the Sakhali River and later meets the Mhadei River. The rock faces and cliffs that envelop the Vazra falls are home and nesting grounds of critically endangered long-billed vultures. The 16 waterfalls at 1.5 km (0.93 mi) up from Hivre village are 15.5 km (9.6 mi) from the Valpoi. The spectacular Ladkyacho Vozar plunge waterfall, 1.5 km (0.93 mi) northeast of Surla, Goa’s highest village is at . Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary are located just to the south of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa

The contiguous forests of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra including the wildlife sanctuaries of Goa in the Mhadei river valley, the Anshi Tiger Reserve and the reserve forests and wildlife sanctuary of Radhanagari in Karnataka, Chandoli National Park and the reserve forests of Purna and Dodamarg in Maharashtra have been named as Tiger Conservation Units (TCU) numbers 68 to 72.

The Mhadei region lies along the Vagheri hills which means “abode of tiger”.

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