Syllabus Section: GS III( Environments and Ecology)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
- Recently, a census was done by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with the Fishing Cat Census Project (TFCP).
- This is the world’s first population estimation of the fishing cat Census done outside the protected area
- Phase 1 of the estimation was conduct in 2021 in the 115 sq. km marshland in the north and north-eastern section of Chilika and its surrounding areas
- Phase 2 was conduct in 2022 on the Parikud side along with the coastal islands of Chilika.
- The spatially explicit capture-recapture method was use to analyze the data.
- It was truly participatory in spirit since local fishermen and villagers of Chilika were the primary participants in this.
- The globally threaten cats are found in wetlands in major South and Southeast Asian River basins.
- They are found starting from the Indus in Pakistan till the Mekong in Vietnam and in Sri Lanka and Java.
- They are found in 10 Asian countries but have to stay undetecting in Vietnam and Java for the last period or so.
Why do Fishing Cats need to be Save?
- Tracking specialist species such as the fishing cat gives us an indication of what might be happening to wetland ecosystems, which are safeguards against climate change and droughts.
- The status of many wetland species remains understudied and highly threatened.
Specialist species are animals that require very unique resources. Often, these species have a very limited diet or need a specific habitat condition to survive.
- Its scientific name is Prionailurus viverrinus .
- It is twice the size of a typical house cat,
- The fishing cat is an adept swimmer and enters water frequently to prey on fish as its name suggests
- The fishing cat is nocturnal and apart from fish also preys on frogs, crustaceans, snakes, birds, and scavenges on carcasses of larger animals
- It is capable of breeding all year round but in India, its peak breeding season is known to be between March and May.
- They spend most of their lives in areas of dense vegetation close to water bodies and are excellent swimmers.
Status of Fishing Cat:
- It is listing as Endanger on the IUCN Red List
- The Convention on International Trade in Endanger Species (CITES) lists the fishing cat in Appendix II part of Article IV of CITES.
- It governs international trade in this species.
- In India, the fishing cat is including in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Habitat Destruction
- Shrimp Farming
- Ritual Practices
- Poaching and Poisoning
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Source: The Hindu