Equatorial forest cover in Goa stands at 1,424 sq. km., of which 1,224 sq. km. is owned by the Government while private forest is estimated at 200 sq. km. Most of the forests in the state are located in the interior eastern regions of the state. The Western Ghats, which form most of eastern Goa, have been internationally recognised as one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world.
Goa has one National Park, the Mollem National Park; the renowned Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and five Wildlife sanctuaries including the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary.
Goa's wildlife sanctuaries and the Western Ghats boast of more than 1512 documented species of plants, over 275 species of birds, over 48 kinds of animals and over 60 genera of reptiles.
Goa's state animal is the Gaur (Indian Bison), the state bird is the Ruby Throated Yellow Bulbul (a variation of Black-crested Bulbul), and the state tree is the Matti (Terminalia crenulata).
Rice is the driving force of Goa's rural economy and hence also it’s staple. All across the state, there are numerous paddy fields cultivated by hard working farmers.
But the best and most lucrative crop is probably the coconut which is grown in thousands of coconut cultivations located mostly in the coastal villages and also in the hinterland.
The coconut tree is the source of a number of products — its sap called toddi is a popular local liquor, the copra oil squeezed from young coconuts is used for cooking and also sold to soap and cosmetic manufacturers; the coarse hair surrounding the shell produces fibre for rope, coir-matting and furniture upholstery; dried palm fronds make baskets, brooms and thatch; while the wood from fallen trees is used to make rafters for houses.
Besides coconuts, plantations of areca nuts, mango, jackfruit and cashew are found all around Goa. Cultivation of spices and other fruits ranging from pineapples to bananas, and pepper to cinnamon is also quite common in many rural areas.
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