Leo foundation is collaborating with the National Trust for Nature Conservation Nepal ( NTNC) in a project for the protection of the Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus Bennet 1833) in a.o.l Koshi willife reserve in the East part of Nepal. Mrs Rama Mishra is project coordinator of the Fishing Cat project.
- Conservation of the remaing population of fishing cats
- Awareness raising and education among local communities living with fishing cats
- Reduction and mitigation of conflicts
- Research and monitoring of fishing cat and its habitat
The Fishing cat is a medium size wild cat distributed in South and Southeast Asia. Due to its elusive character this species is not well covered by scientific research. It is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the Global IUCN Red List.
Fishing cats are aquatic specialists and are typically found close to wetlands such as rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, swamps and mangroves feeding primarily on fish. Fishing cats are threatened by habitat destruction and human persecution. The rapid disappearance of wetlands throughout their range has put them in many countries on the brink of extinction or resulted in their complete extirpation locally.
Despite their threatened status, limited information is available about the ecology of fishing cats in the wild. In Nepal, they are distributed along the Terai region with discrete populations in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Parsa, Chitwan, Bardia and Shuklaphanta National Parks. Outside the Protected Areas fishing cat is mainly recorded from Jagdishpur reservoir (a Ramsar site). No evidence is available about a possible genetic exchange between these populations and the different populations may well be isolated from each other, which may result in inbreeding depression.