Somewhere in Goa....

Documenting wildlife at the Mhadei sanctuary has yielded newer finds.Recently, a stripe-necked mongoose was spotted by environmentalists near Virdi, Goa’s border with Maharashtra. The Maharashtra government has proposed a dam construction project in the forest area, which together with the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in Goa and the proposed Bhimgad sanctuary in Karnataka forms a continuous corridor for the movement of wildlife. “The stripe-necked mongoose was earlier spotted in the Cotigao sanctuary. This is the first time it has been seen in the area,” Nirmal Kulkarni, wild life researcher said.This mongoose is technically one of Asia’s largest mongoose species. The flora and fauna here is rich, but is not well documented. Nearby, on the northern fringe of Mhadei wildlife sanctuary is a hilly region. Barely 2 or 3 km from Goa’s border at Shiroli, several hills standing closely make it ideal for wild animals, birds and flora. Nature lovers tracking the area around Virdi, a village in the Sindhudurg district, saw two stripe-necked mongoose (Herpestes vittcollis). “We saw two such species in the wild ,” Kulkarni said. Compared to the other species of mongoose, the stripenecked mongoose is a stocky mammal. “While specimens from South India are a darker rufous color, those sighted in the forests of Virdi are yellowish grey in colour,” Kulkarni said. The shy creature ferrets out crabs in streams, smaller ones of birds and other animals to sustain itself. It has quite a long tail - three fourths of the body length and a black tip pointed upwards. The brownish black stripe spanning from its shoulder to the ear is also a very prominent feature.

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