The Salim Ali's bird sanctuary at Chorao and the surrounding mangroves in the area are expected to get a protective cover if conferred with the status of a "Critical Wildlife Habitat"(CWH) area. However the bestowment of that status could finally rest with the villagers of Chorao and may need their approval before such a status is granted.
The CWH status is granted to those areas which are required for wildlife conservation purposes. The state level expert committee has therefore called for a public hearing on September 15 2009, to elicit views of the Chorao villagers on the CWH proposal.
The Goa forest department is keeping its fingers crossed for the outcome of the above meeting and opine that since the area is already a notified sanctuary and no persons living in that area, the area being under the forest department of Goa, such a status bodes good for the bird sanctuary.
The villagers of Chorao may however have theirs own reservations about the particular status and may therefore seek to know in clear terms the terms and rules governing a "critical wildlife habitat". The forest department officials however feel that the meeting will be a smooth affair with no need for any anxiety to the villagers.
The Salim Ali bird sanctuary is spanned across an area of 1.8 sq km and is abounded with mangroves which provide a safe haven and a breeding space to many species of fish, insects and other wildlife.