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Fishing cat - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
Fishing cat

FISHING CAT IN CHILIKA LAKE

What’s in news?

Researchers conducting a study in Odisha’s Chilika Lake have found the presence of a viable and breeding population of the fishing cat in the brackish water lagoon.

Key data’s:

  • Further, the presence of a smooth-coated otter and an Eurasian otter has also been recorded in the lake.
  • The project was a collaborative effort between The Fishing Cat Project (TFCP), Chilika Development Authority, Wild Orissa, Mahavir Pakshi Suraksha Samity and Chilika Wildlife Division, Forest Department of Odisha.
  • CDA will further step up conservation efforts by initiating a census on fishing cats this year in collaboration with TFCP.

Fishing cat:

  • Scientific Name: Prionailurus viverrinus
  • Habitat: In India, fishing cats are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, on the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys and in the Western Ghats.
  • It is a globally endangered and elusive species that is found in very few places in south and south-east Asia.
  • Wild cat species primarily hunt on ground. But the fishing cat hunts in water. It has specialised features like partially webbed feet and a water-resistant fur that helps it to thrive in wetlands. The flat-headed cat of south-east Asia is the only other feline that shares similar features, making them unique among all the 39 extant cat species.
  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I

Smooth-Coated Otter:

  • Scientific Name: Lutrogale perspicillata
  • Habitat: Smooth-coated otters are distributed throughout India from the Himalayas to the south.
  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule II

Eurasian Otter:

  • Scientific Name: Lutra lutra
  • Habitat: Throughout Europe and Asia from Ireland in the west as far as eastern Russia and China. They are also found in north Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and the Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Iran).
  • IUCN Red List: Near Threatened
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule II

Links to note:

https://www.iasipstnpsc.in/chilika-lake/

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/researchers-find-fishing-cat-in-odishas-chilika-lake/article30959267.ece

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2020/mar/01/eurasian-otter-spotted-in-chilika-brings-cheers-for-wildlife-lovers-2110486.html

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