Goa is a small state located on the Konkan coast, Western India. It borders Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south. The Arabian sea flanks the entire state coast line. It is India’s smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population.
Biomes, Ecosystems and Habitats
Goa is under the influence of two global biomes – the marine biome of the Arabian sea and the terrestrial forest biome of the Western Ghats. Despite having a 101 kilometer long coastline, most local communities as well as tourists in Goa are unaware of the marine and coastal biodiversity of the state. Marine species such as coral reefs, Humpback dolphins, Finless porpoise, Green and Olive Ridley turtles are all found in Goa, along with a diverse range of fish life including lion fish, cuttlefish and stingrays.
While the state presents an astonishing diversity of endemic species, habitats and ecosystems and is part of the global biodiversity hotspot, the Western Ghats (Myers 2000), it is rapidly declining under the threat of unregulated development and tourism, mining, over-fishing and pollution.
The state is also vulnerable to climate change related impacts, such as sea level rise and species extinction and habitat loss. It is imperative that we address these issues immediately through robust and sustained marine conservation initiatives.