Wildlife Conservation Efforts

India’s first Fishing Cat Collaring Project


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Fishing Cats

Mains level: Not Much

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII-Dehradun) Conservation Biologists will begin collaring ten Fishing Cats (Prionailurus viverrinus) in the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) in Andhra Pradesh.

About Fishing Cats

  • About twice the size of a typical house cat, the fishing cat is a feline with a powerful build and stocky legs.
  • It is an adept swimmer and enters water frequently to prey on fish as its name suggests.
  • It is known to even dive to catch fish.
  • It 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.

Conservation status

  • IUCN Red List: Endangered
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I

Various threats

  • One of the major threats facing the fishing cat is the destruction of wetlands, which is its preferred habitat.
  • As a result of human settlement, drainage for agriculture, pollution, and wood-cutting most of the wetlands in India are under threat of destruction.
  • Another threat to the fishing cat is the depletion of its main prey-fish due to unsustainable fishing practices.
  • It is also occasionally poached for its skin.


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