Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is located in North Goa District, Sanguem taluka near the town of Valpoi. Owing to the presence of Bengal Tigers, it can be declared as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger.
It has been declared an International Bird Area because of the presence of the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, Malabar parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill, Grey-headed Bulbul, Rufous babbler, White-bellied blue-flycatcher and Crimson-backed sunbird.
The sanctuary is a huge attraction for herpetologists( Study of amphibians and reptiles). since it contains a large variety of snakes including all of the ‘big four’ of Indian venomous snakes which are Indian krait, Russell’s viper, Saw-scaled viper and Spectacled cobra.
This sanctuary was formed in 1999. The formation of this sanctuary has made Goa the only state in India that has completely protected the Western Ghats that are located within its boundaries.
The three highest peaks in Goa are situated in the hill ranges of the sanctuary. They are Sonsogod (1027 mts), Talavche Sada (812 mts) and Vageri (725 mts). Vageri means ‘the abode of the tiger’.
The Mhadei River, known downstream as the Mandovi River, the lifeline of the state of Goa, originates in Karnataka, passes through the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and meets the Arabian Sea at Panaji in Goa.
The whole sanctuary acts as a catchment for the river. Most of the area has succumbed to the biotic pressure with agriculture and human interference replacing the rich natural vegetation of the past by cashew / kumeri cultivation.