On Thursday, August 18, 2016, a one- day field trip was organized for the Semester I & Semester V students of F.Y. & T.Y. B.Sc. Botany students respectively. The field trip was to Kuskem water falls which is in Kuskem village, located within the boundaries of Cotigao sanctuary, Cotigao of South Goa district.

The location is an integral part of Western Ghats, keeping the entire western ghat belt luxuriantly green abounding in life with water ways meandering through the forest thickets. Kuskem water falls come alive only during this season which is fed by the ground water reservoirs that get saturated during the rainy season. The protected area is dominated by Semi evergreen & moist deciduous floral elements.

The vehicle took us through the entry gate of the sanctuary for about 15 kms. From there we had to walk almost a distance of 2kms to reach the water fall. The forested area is dominated by trees of Teak, Matti, Hirda etc.

In addition to this, many flowering endemic sps. of Western ghats were inhabiting the protected area. Aneistrocladus heyneanus (Aneistrocladaceae), Dimorphocalyx lawianus (Euphorbiaceae), Diospyros oocarpa (Ebenaceae) are a few among them. Anamirta cocculus (Menispermaceae), Careya arborea (Lecithydaceae), Murraya paniculata (Rutaceae), Diospyros malabarica (Ebenaceae), Sarcostemma kleinii (Icacinaceae), Oroxylum indicum (Bignoniaceae), Atlantia sp. (Rutaceae) etc were some other sps. which were spotted within the sanctuary. Thus the green canopy was a contributed mainly by Angiosperms which included both trees and climbers. Needless to say, in these green reservoirs exist many sps. which are the sources of potential drugs.

Many herbaceous flowering sps also were identified which included many sps. of Balsam – one being Impatiens acaulis of Balsaminaceae. Ixora coccinia (Rubiaceae), Hemidesmus indicus (Asclepiadaceae), Asparagus racemosus (Liliaceae) etc. were a few among the many sps. spotted.

Non- flowering plants – Pteridophytes & Bryophytes were also a part of the ecosystem. Nephrolepis sp., Lygodium sp. & Selaginella sps were the common Pteridophytes in the area. Bryophytes like Cyathodium sp., Anthoceros sp., Notothylas sp. Fissidens sp. were a few among the many sps. which occurred within the region.

In addition to this many fruiting bodies of fungi (Basidiomycotina) were also spotted.

The trip was an enriching experience which brought the students in direct contact with the diversity Plant Kingdom and made the learning experience complete.

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