“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”
- Walt Whitman
Roughly 80% of the island is wooded. An ecosystem all its own, protected simply and wonderfully merely by being an island. Birds, reptiles, butterflies, insects, trees, crustaceans, and mammals - many have made the island their haven. The most fascinating among them all and perhaps the oldest resident being the land turtle. The thirty three acre wide Naturelab sits off an estuary of the Kali river, on the Arabian Sea. This is Cintacor.
An ever engaging source of wonder to study and protect, and a reminder to live in awareness with the world around us. A precious world that is now open to you.
To know where to look for the birds! To know all their names!
Bird watching can be very rewarding if you know where to look. The nests, a feather or two strewn along the trails and if you are willing to look deeper, maybe even fragments of eggshells. The biggest nest in the island, of course, belongs to the sea eagle. Here is a clue. Look out for the big tree when you are on the Temple Trail. Other frequently spotted birds include barbets, bee-eaters, red whiskered bulbuls, tailorbirds, drongos and the orange headed thrush.
It’s easy to miss the rocks while gazing at the sea. Is that a crab hiding in there?
A fissure that formed nearly 300 million years ago runs deep into the island and makes for what we call the Mystery Creek. Interesting rock formations mark the area around the Creek. The island itself was formed during the subcontinental drift millions of years ago. It stands today in the Arabian Sea bordered by craggy cliffs and is home to a variety of marine life and flora and fauna.
There are pneumatophores, epiphytes and tree trunks with cone shaped thorns. It’s a boundless world to explore.
The influences of tropical temperatures, heavy monsoons, isolation, fauna, and geological history have fused to develop Cintacor’s varied plant life.
Cintacor is home to a wide variety of tree species. One especially unique set of trees is Victor’s woods, after Victor Coelho, into whose hands the island came into once the Portuguese left.

They crawl, slide, slither, and hop. And flutter by too.
Home to reptiles and a assortment of invertebrates like snails, butterflies, moths, beetles, spiders, frogs, scorpions and snakes. The golden rule here is not to handle any animal unnecessarily, as you learn so much more when you watch them undisturbed.
A sprightly grey mammal with a long snout and a very conspicuous hump under its dorsal fin. I spot the Indian Humpback Dolphin. I’m told there are porpoises and flying fish too.
Being close to where the Kali river meets the Arabian sea, the surrounding waters support bountiful marine life. Humpback dolphins and porpoises too inhabit Cintacor’s waters. A variety of crabs have made the beach and the Jetty area their home. Cintacor’s seabirds rely on the marine life for their survival.