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Fishing cat conservation in human-dominated landscapes in West Bengal, India

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Niki RustORCiD


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In India, fishing cats Prionailurus vivverinus are found both in protected and unprotectedlandscapes. To ensure the continued survival of fishing cats in the unprotectedhuman-dominated Amta block of West Bengal state, local conservation enthusiastsstarted the ‘Bhagrol Basa Fishing Cat Project’ in 2016. Their efforts to safeguard thefishing cat revealed fascinating findings into the lives of this felid species that appearsto be able to live alongside humans. The project’s efforts to increase interestwithin the local community to support fishing cats in the 30 km² area show first results.In this case study, we provide insights into the progress of the project. Theexperiences offer optimism that, in India, human-fishing cat coexistence may be lessconcerning than survival of leopards or tigers in human-used lands. To roll out thisproject further and help protect fishing cats in other unprotected areas, the BhagrolBasa Fishing Cat Project plans to look beyond its current work area to similar adjoininghuman-dominated lands of West Bengal.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kolipaka SS, Srivastava DP, Prasad S, Rust NA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cat News

Year: 2019

Volume: 69

Issue: Spring

Pages: 21-24

Print publication date: 01/06/2019

Acceptance date: 02/05/2019

ISSN (print): 1027-2992

Publisher: IUCN Cat Specialist Group