Forest plays an important role in ecological preservation and ecological development of the region. This is true in respect of Goa as situated in the Western Ghats region. This region faces the first onslaught of monsoon and receives heavy rainfall at places upto 3,000 mm annually. Moreover, the intensity of rainfall is quite heavy and almost the entire rainfall being received over a period of four months, i.e. from June to September, this heavy precipitation over a short period coupled with the hilly terrains makes the problem of ecological preservation very difficult in the absence of adequate forest cover.
The state has 38.5 % of its land under forest cover, which is much higher than the national average. In absolute terms, 1,424.38 sq. km. of area is under forest, of which 1,224.38 sq. km. is government forest and 200 sq. km. is private forest. Physiographically, the state of Goa consists of three narrow strips, viz. the coastal belt, the middle plateau and the uplands. Of these the uplands constitute the maximum extent of forest, which fall in the Western Ghats areas running through almost parallel to the Western Coast of the peninsula. The most thickly populated talukas of Salcete, Tiswadi and Bardez have practically negligible forest area, while the talukas of Sanguem tops the list in the extent of forest.
SACRED GROVES IN GOA[pdf]