World’s first fishing cat census done in Chilika

NATIONAL

The Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, has 176 fishing cats, according to a census conducted by Chilika Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with The Fishing Cat Project (TFCP).

The world’s first population estimation of fishing cat census was conducted in Chilka, Odisha. It began in 2010 and is currently underway in two states in India: West Bengal and Odisha. West Bengal declared fishing cats the state animal in 2012.

The Fishing Cat Project conducted the census in two phases. For the first phase in 2021, surveyors focussed on the 115 sq. km marshland in the north and north-eastern section of the lake. The second phase was conducted this year on the Parikud side along the coastal part. 

These cats are found in wetlands and flooded forests in major South and Southeast Asian river basins such as Indus in Pakistan, Mekong in Vietnam, and in Sri Lanka and Java.

 

   Important Points for the exam:

  •  According to a census conducted by Chilika Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with The Fishing Cat Project (TFCP). Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, has 176 fishing cats
  • This is the world's longest-running research and conservation project on fishing cats.
  • The Fishing Cat Project conducted the census in two phases.

   Facts to Know:

  • Fishing cats are classed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Fishing cats, unlike most felines, enjoy being around water and are noted for their exceptional hunting abilities in watery environments.
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