Monday, May 26, 2014

What is a Fishing Cat?

The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. The solitary living fishing cats are thought to be primarily nocturnal. They are very much at home in the water and can swim long distances, even under water.

Where do they live?
Fishing cats are broadly but discontinuously distributed in Asia, and are primarily found in India and Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Fishing cats are strongly associated with wetland, and are typically found in swamps and marshy areas, oxbow lakes, reed beds, tidal creeks and mangrove areas and are more scarce around smaller, fast-moving watercourses. Most records are from lowland areas. Although fishing cats are widely distributed through a variety of habitat types including both evergreen and tropical dry forest, their occurrence tends to be highly localized.

What do they eat?
Fish is their main prey. They hunt along the edges of watercourses, grabbing prey from the water, and sometimes diving in to catch prey further from the banks

Are they endangered?
It is classified as endangered and have decreasing populations.

What threats do they face?
Fishing cat are endangered due to their dependence on wetlands, which are increasingly being settled and converted for agricultural use, and also due to human activities and habitat loss.

Images by Jetwing Vil Uyana Naturalist Chaminda Jayasekara