Conservation and monitoring of Fishing Cats and their ecosystem
The project envisages developing a comprehensive understanding of the biogeographical distribution of the fishing cat in the Eastern Ghats region of South India and the implications of various human-induced activities on its survival through ecological niche modelling, camera trapping, signs & tracks survey, structured interviews with locals and documentation of historical records.
In order to understand and address the immediate threats to the species, we outlined the following objectives.
Train local people (citizen scientists) and front-line wildlife staff to monitor fishing cats and their threats by using in-field tracking and camera trapping, and therefore, transforming them as citizen scientists to continue the activity of data collection.
Identify various human-induced threats to fishing cats in areas with high conflict.
Devise and implement appropriate site-specific actions/conservationmeasures to address the direct threats from human-induced activities.
Promote awareness on fishing cat conservation and the significance of wetlands to local youth, children, and villagers in and around fishing cat habitats.
Generate GIS-based habitat maps for fishing cats to show the status of current habitat and possible future habitats in south India to help the policymakers make informed decisions to minimise the impacts of developmental activities.