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Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance: Worldwide Campaign

Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance:

The Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance started a worldwide campaign to raise awareness for the conservation of fishing cats.

  • The Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance is a team of conservationists, researchers, and enthusiasts working to achieve functioning floodplains and coastal ecosystems that ensure the survival of the fishing cat.
  • Scientific Name: Prionailurus viverrinus.
  • It is twice the size of a house cat.
  • The fishing cat is nocturnal (active at night) and apart from fish also preys on frogs, crustaceans, snakes, birds, and scavenges on carcasses of larger animals.
  • The species breed all year round.
  • They spend most of their lives in areas of dense vegetation close to water bodies and are excellent swimmers.
  • Fishing cats have a patchy distribution along the Eastern Ghats. They abound in estuarine floodplains, tidal mangrove forests and also inland freshwater habitats.
  • Apart from Sundarbans in West Bengal and Bangladesh, fishing cats inhabit the Chilika lagoon and surrounding wetlands in Odisha, Coringa and Krishna mangroves in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Wetland degradation and conversion for aquaculture and other commercial projects, sand mining along river banks, agricultural intensification resulting in loss of riverine buffer and conflict with humans in certain areas resulting in targeted hunting and retaliatory killings.

Protection Status:

  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable. Despite multiple threats, the Fishing Cat was recently downlisted to “Vulnerable” from “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List species assessment.
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • Recently, the Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance has initiated a study of the biogeographical distribution of the fishing cat in the unprotected and human-dominated landscapes of the northeastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh.
  • In 2012, the West Bengal government officially declared the Fishing Cat as the State Animal and the Calcutta Zoo has two big enclosures dedicated to them.
  • In Odisha, many NGOs and wildlife conservation Societies are involved in Fishing Cat research and conservation work.
  • The Fishing Cat Project, launched in 2010 started raising awareness about the Cat in West Bengal.

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