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The Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus is amongst the most vulnerable and least studied wild cats across its range. Although its occurrence in Odisha, eastern India was reported c. 100 years ago, its current distribution, threats and conservation challenges are still poorly known. A biodiversity inventory performed in multiple parts of Odisha between 2008 and 2018 found the Fishing Cat in 20 new localities. The Fishing Cat distribution is confined to the coastal zone, from mangrove to swamps surrounded by rice fields, aquaculture farms and human habitations up to about 50 m above sea level. Road kill is an immediate threat but can be overcome by installing underpasses and signage on major roads. Wells in Fishing Cat habitats should be fitted with safety walls to avoid trapping. Community awareness of this species' conservation is vital, as most of its habitats fall outside protected areas and are near human habitation. Targeted study of its population status, ecology and threats throughout known and potential localities is necessary to formulate a Fishing Cat conservation plan for Odisha.
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Zoology and Ecology
ISSN: 2165-8005 (Print) 2165-8013 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tzec20
The vulnerable fishing cat Prionailurus viverrinus
in Odisha, eastern India: status and conservation
implications
Himanshu Shekhar Palei, Udit Pratap Das & Subrat Debata
To cite this article: Himanshu Shekhar Palei, Udit Pratap Das & Subrat Debata (2018) The
vulnerable fishing cat Prionailurus�viverrinus in Odisha, eastern India: status and conservation
implications, Zoology and Ecology, 28:2, 69-74, DOI: 10.1080/21658005.2018.1468646
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/21658005.2018.1468646
Published online: 07 May 2018.
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https://doi.org/10.1080/21658005.2018.1468646
The vulnerable shing cat Prionailurus viverrinus in Odisha, eastern India:
status and conservation implications
HimanshuShekhar Palei, UditPratap Das and SubratDebata
Aranya Foundation, Bhubaneswar, India
ABSTRACT
The Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus is amongst the most vulnerable and least studied wild cats
across its range. Although its occurrence in Odisha, eastern India was reported c. 100years ago,
its current distribution, threats and conservation challenges are still poorly known. A biodiversity
inventory performed in multiple parts of Odisha between 2008 and 2018 found the Fishing Cat in
20 new localities. The Fishing Cat distribution is conned to the coastal zone, from mangrove to
swamps surrounded by rice elds, aquaculture farms and human habitations up to about 50m
above sea level. Road kill is an immediate threat but can be overcome by installing underpasses
and signage on major roads. Wells in Fishing Cat habitats should be tted with safety walls to
avoid trapping. Community awareness of this species’ conservation is vital, as most of its habitats
fall outside protected areas and are near human habitation. Targeted study of its population
status, ecology and threats throughout known and potential localities is necessary to formulate
a Fishing Cat conservation plan for Odisha.
Introduction
The Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus, a medium-sized
cat weighing between 6 and 16kg (Prater 2005) is dis-
continuously distributed across Bangladesh, Cambodia,
India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand
and possibly other areas (Mukherjee et al. 2016). This
species prefers wetland habitats and is more vulnerable
to loss and degradation of habitats than other small and
medium sized cats, as currently wetlands are amongst the
most threatened and vanishing ecosystems worldwide
(Davidson 2014). Poaching and retaliatory killing as a result
of perceived conicts are additional potential threats for
survival of this cat across its distribution range (Melisch et
al. 1996; Mukherjee et al. 2012, 2016; Duckworth, Lynam,
and Breitenmoser-Wursten 2014; Tantipisanuh et al. 2014;
Willcox et al. 2014; Cutter 2015; Thaung et al. 2017). It has
been assessed that the global Fishing Cat population has
declined by 30% during the last 15years and it will further
decline by another 30% in the coming such period, if the
aforementioned threats persist (Mukherjee et al. 2016).
Therefore, owing to the severity of threats to its habitat
and population, it has been categorised as Vulnerable in
the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and kept under
Appendix II of CITES for enhancing conservation initiatives
(Mukherjee et al. 2016; CITES 2017).
According to the latest knowledge, India and Sri Lanka
are the strongholds of the Fishing Cat (Janardhanan
et al. 2014). In India, the Fishing Cat is primarily distributed
along the eastern coast covering parts of Andhra
Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar, in the north
east (Arunachal Pradesh and Assam), in the Himalayan
foothills (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh), and Rajasthan
(Nowell and Jackson 1996; Sunquist and Sunquist 2002;
Mukherjee et al. 2012, 2016; Sadhu and Reddy 2013;
Menon 2014). Its occurrence along the western coast
and the Western Ghats was questionable (Nowell and
Jackson 1996; Sunquist and Sunquist2002) and a recent
study (Janardhanan et al. 2014) failed to nd any evi-
dence of the Fishing Cat occurrence in the coastal areas
of Kerala. Although Odisha has a large array of marshy
and mangrove habitats along the coast, oft-used habitats
of the Fishing Cat, information on the occurrence and
distribution of the species in the state is very scarce. The
Fishing Cat is known only from two localities in Odisha:
Chilika lake of Khurda district (Annandale 1915; Das, Lal,
and Agrawal 1993; Mukherjee et al. 2012) and Anandapur
of Keonjhar district (Acharjyo and Mishra 1975). This
paper updates the occurrence, distribution and threats
to the Fishing Cat in Odisha.
Materials and methods
Study area
Odisha State is located between 17°49ʹ–22°34ʹ N and
81°29ʹ–87°29ʹ E covering an area of 155,707km² along
the eastern coast of India (Figure 1). Odisha falls under
© 2018 Nature Research Centre
KEYWORDS
Fishing cat; Prionailurus
viverrinus; small cats;
Bhitarakanika; Chilika;
Odisha; road kill
ARTICLE HISTORY
Received 27 March 2018
Accepted19 April 2018
CONTACT Subrat Debata subrat.debata007@gmail.com
Zoology and Ecology
Vol. 28, No. 2, 69–74
2018,
Published online 07 May 2018
70 H. SHEKHAR PALEI ET AL.
either photographic evidence or sighting of the species.
Sightings of the Fishing Cat claimed by local people were
conrmed by cross-examining the identication skill of
the claimant. The identication of the Fishing Cat from
photographs and sightings was conrmed following the
descriptions given by Prater (2005) and Menon (2014).
Results
During the survey we traced a total of 27 claims of
Fishing Cat sightings from 25 localities, but seven claims
from ve localities were rejected as four sightings were
unauthentic and three reports were based on the erro-
neous identication of the Jungle Cat as the Fishing Cat.
The occurrence of the Fishing Cat in the remaining 20
localities was proved based on ve sightings, ve rescue
records, seven road kill incidents and recovery of carcass
from three sites, making up a total of 18 adults and four
kittens (Figures 1 and 2; Table 1). All the recorded localities
are from the coastal districts of Odisha and are mostly (18
of 20) near human habitations outside protected areas.
One road kill was recorded near the Central Institute of
the Freshwater Aquaculture campus in Bhubaneswar
city, the state capital of Odisha. The recorded localities
are characterised by marshy areas surrounded by rice
elds, aquaculture ponds and mangrove forest and are
situated about 50m a.s.l. These areas are subject to the
anthropogenic impact caused by intensive agriculture,
aquaculture farming, shing and vehicular movements.
Discussion
From the present study it can be inferred that Fishing
Cats in Odisha occur largely along the coastal zone and
are more widely distributed along the entire coastline
than earlier reported (Annandale 1915; Acharjyo and
Mishra 1975; Das, Lal, and Agrawal 1993). During our
informal discussion with the local Forest Department
sta in the areas where Fishing Cat carcasses were
recovered and road kill incidents happened (Figure 2),
it was revealed that the species was presumed to be the
young Leopard Panthera pardus or the Jungle Cat. Forest
ocials generally have poor skills of small- and medi-
um-sized mammal species identication, which means
that the recent targeted surveys by biologists have
expanded the known distribution ranges of several such
species in Odisha (Mohapatra, Palei, and Hussain 2014;
Debata et al. 2015; Palei and Debata 2017). As Odisha
shares its north-eastern and south-eastern boundaries
with West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh respectively
(both states are known to have many Fishing Cats), a
contiguous population of the Fishing Cat along east-
ern India can be proposed. The habitat characteristics
of all the recorded localities coincide with the general
habitat preference of the species elsewhere in its range
(Mukherjee et al. 2016).
the Deccan Peninsula biogeographic zone spreading
over the Deccan plateau, the Central highlands, the
Eastern Ghats, the Gangetic plain and Coasts biogeo-
graphic province (Sinha 1971). The coastline of Odisha is
about 480km long and is characterised by sand dunes,
tidal creeks, backwaters, brackish water lagoons, estuar-
ies, mangroves, mudats and salt marshes (Tripathy et al.
2013). In addition to the Fishing Cat, the Jungle Cat Felis
chaus and the Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis are
known to co-occur along the coastal Odisha. However,
while the Jungle Cat is very common and widely dis-
tributed, the Leopard Cat is restricted to the Mangrove
habitat of the Bhitarakanika Wildlife Sanctuary (Mishra
et al. 1996).
Methodology
The biodiversity inventories performed during 2008–
2018 in various protected and non-protected areas
throughout Odisha, eastern India (Figure 1), were
aimed at surveying the Fishing Cat. Recording methods
included direct sighting, interviews with local people (by
showing them photographs and explaining the behav-
iour of the species) and collection of information from
the local Forest Department oce. Reports of capture,
rescue and death of Fishing Cats from both online and
print editions of local newspapers were collated. Such
newspaper based information was later checked by sur-
veying the sites and interviewing the local people and
the Forest Department ocials who had witnessed these
incidents. Available photographs purported to be of the
species taken by either of them were collated.
As identifying the Fishing Cat is extremely dicult
when they co-occur with other small cats such as the
Jungle Cat and the Leopard Cat, we took utmost care
while using the information obtained from local peo-
ple, Forest Department records and signs (pug marks
and scats) were not considered unless supported by
Figure 1.Map showing the locations (numbers refer to Table
1 and Figure 2) of the Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus
occurrence in Odisha, eastern India.
ZOOLOGY AND ECOLOGY 71
In Odisha, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is the only
known protected habitat for Fishing Cats in Odisha. The
rest of the areas are highly vulnerable to various anthro-
pogenic activities such as agriculture, intensive shing
and aquaculture practices. Besides, although Chilika lake
and its adjoining areas are among the proposed impor-
tant Fishing Cat habitats in India (Mukherjee et al. 2016),
uncontrolled shrimp farming and tourism have been
found to be major issues here (D’Lima et al. 2014). These
may have negative eects on the status of the Fishing
Cat local population. The animal occurring mostly in
human-dominated landscapes is therefore among the
most potentially vulnerable mammal species of the state:
threats like habitat destruction, poaching and retalia-
tory killing as a result of perceived conict are common
throughout its range (Mukherjee et al. 2012, 2016). The
performed observations showed that the main cause of
the Fishing Cat mortality in Odisha was road kills with
mostly adult males being the victims (Table 1). This could
be explained by the fact that adult males defend large
home ranges and move over larger areas for foraging
than adult females (Sunquist and Sunquist 2002) thereby
increasing the likelihood of vehicular hit while crossing
the roads during the night. In one road kill incident, the
Figure 2.Photographic records of the Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus in Odisha, eastern India. The number in each photograph
refers to the location in Figure 1 and Table 1.
an abandoned well dug within an agricultural area. Our
informal discussion with the local people revealed that
earlier one Jungle Cat and two Bengal Fox Vulpes benga-
lensis individuals were rescued from that well.
Conservation implications
The Fishing Cat population occurring in Protected Areas
of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary,
Corbett Tiger Reserve, Sundarbans Tiger Reserve,
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Ranthambhore Tiger
Reserve, Kaziranga Tiger reserve, Manas Tiger Reserve,
Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Krishna
teeth, claws and whiskers of the dead cat were taken
away by local people presuming it to be a Leopard cub,
because of superstitious belief in their medicinal and
supernatural values. Such behaviour encourages inten-
tional poaching threatening wildlife today. Although we
did not come across such poaching or retaliatory killing
incidents of the Fishing Cat in Odisha, they are highly
possible. Therefore further investigations should be car-
ried out in order to understand the real pattern of this
cat species mortality and implement law enforcement.
In two occasions, Fishing Cats were rescued from sh-
ing nets set by local children for shing. In one instance
the dead body of an adult female was recovered from
Table 1.All available records on the occurrence of the Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus in Odisha, eastern India between 1915 and
2017.
Note: Sl numbers of locations correspond with numbers in Figures 1 and 2.
aAll records were generated during the present investigation except Sl. No. 1 (Annandale 1915), 2 (Acharjyo and Mishra 1975) and 3 (Das, Lal, and Agrawal
1993).
Year Sl No Locations (Altitude) Habitat type Type of evidencesa
1915 1 Satapada, Chilika lake, Puri (Not available) Unknown Historical record; The specimen (sex and
age is not available) was collected
and submitted to the Indian Museum,
Kolkata
1973 2 Balarampur Village, Anandapur, Keonjhar
(Not available)
Unknown Historical record: One young male was
rescued and reared in Nandankanan
Zoological Park, Odisha
1974 3 Satapada, Chilika lake, Puri (Not available) Unknown Historical record: A specimen of a juvenile
female was collected by the Zoological
Survey of India
2008 4 Sipalabana village, Chilika lake, Khurda
(6m)
Adjoining Chilika lake, surrounded by
aquaculture farms
Two kittens rescued by the Forest
Department. They later died in the
Nandankanan Zoological Park
5 Hajari chowk, Kendrapara (6m) State highway adjoining rice fields and a
human habitation
Road kill of an adult female
2013 6 Sankhamedi, Bichitarapur, Balasore (2m) Degraded mangrove forest Sighting of an adult male by local villagers
7 Near Defence Research and Development
Organization campus, Chandipur,
Balasore (6m)
Human habitation and a swampy area Sighting of an adult with unidentified sex
by the authors
2014 8 Sipalabana Village, Chilika lake, Khurda
(12.3m)
Adjoining Chilika lake, surrounded by
a human habitation and aquaculture
farms
Rescue of an adult female entangled in a
fishing net by the Forest Department
9 Dhamara, Bhadrak (3 m) Village road, near a human habitation
surrounded by aquaculture farms
Road kill of an adult male
2015 10 Central Institute of Freshwater Aquacul-
ture, Bhubaneswar, Khurda (17m)
Swampy habitat surrounded by experi-
mental fish tanks
Road kill of an adult male
11 Hatabaradi village, Tangi, Khurda (15m) Human habitation adjoining fish tanks Rescue of an adult male entangled in a
fishing net by the Forest Department
12 Kanheipur village, Krushnaprasad, Puri
(7m)
Village road in a human habitation, sur-
rounded by rice fields
Road kill of an adult male
2016 13 Bhitarakanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Ken-
drapara (4m)
Mangrove forest Sighting of an adult with an unidentified
sex by the authors
14 Ankushapur village, Kukudakhandi, Ber-
hampur, Ganjam (54m)
Village road, near a swampy pond,
surrounded by a human habitation and
rice fields
Road kill of an adult male
2017 15 National Highway16, Barunei, Khurda
(32m)
Periphery of Khurda town, adjoining a
swampy pond and surrounded by rice
fields
Road kill of an adult male
16 Bhitarakanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Ken-
drapara (5m)
Mangrove forest Sighting of an adult with an unidentified
sex by the authors
17 Mangalajodi, Chilika lake, Khurda (4m) Swampy habitat Sighting of an adult with an unknown sex
by the authors
18 Tengramari Village, Jaleswar, Balasore
(5m)
Home garden surrounded by aquaculture
ponds
Recovery of an adult male carcass by the
Forest Department
19 Sanabandhakera village, Brahmagiri, Puri
(7m)
Agricultural field Recovery of an adult male carcass from an
unused well by the Forest Department
20 Moti Chhaka, Sunamuhin-Borokudi Road,
Brahamagiri, Puri (7m)
Swampy habitat Rescue of an adult female by the Forest
Department
2018 21 Bhubaneswar–Cuttack bypass road, near
river Kuakhai, Cuttack (23m)
Adjoining river with a marshy bank Road kill of an adult male
22 Sipia-Gobardhuliraod, Badajhada, Braham-
agiri, Puri (6m)
Swampy habitat Recovery of an adult female carcass by the
Forest Department
23 Brahamagiri Market, Brahamagiri, Puri
(11m)
Human habitation, surrounded by a
swampy area and an agricultural field
Rescue of two kittens by the Forest
Department
72 H. SHEKHAR PALEI ET AL.
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Wildlife Sanctuary and the Namdapha Tiger Reserve in
India benets from management activities (Naidu et al.
2015; Mukherjee et al. 2016). However, the population
occurring outside Protected Areas such as in Odisha
require special conservation attention. The conserva-
tion plan should be carefully prepared considering the
socio-economic context of the local people. Educational
programmes aimed at enhancing the understanding of
local communities of the importance of Fishing Cats and
seeking their support in conservation activities should
be developed and carried out. Stas of local Forest
Departments need to boost their capacity to identify
dierent species. In future it will help monitor the spe-
cies within a larger geographic range. Wells in Fishing
Cat habitats should be tted with safety walls to avoid
trapping wild animals. To reduce road kill mortality, con-
struction of underpasses is a frequent solution world-
wide (Glista, DeVault, and DeWoody 2009) and such
initiatives should be implemented in Odisha as well.
Display boards highlighting speed limits of vehicles on
roads passing through Fishing Cat habitats are needed
to alert the drivers. Furthermore, long-term targeted
monitoring of population trends, ecology and threats
of this lesser-known cat in Odisha and potential locali-
ties should be carried out to understand its status and
develop appropriate conservation plans.
Acknowledgements
We are grateful to the Odisha Forest Department ocials for
sharing information on rescue of Fishing Cats in Odisha. Local
villagers are highly acknowledged for their help during the
eld survey. We are thankful to Madhu Behera for allowing
us to use his Fishing Cat sighting photograph in this report.
We are also thankful to J. W. Duckworth and A. T. Qashqaei
for their valuable suggestions concerning the manuscript
improvement.
Disclosure statement
No potential conict of interest was reported by the authors.
Funding
The study was nancially supported by Aranya Foundation.
ORCID
Himanshu Shekhar Palei http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7783-
7587
Udit Pratap Das http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3462-4594
Subrat Debata http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8296-1734
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74 H. SHEKHAR PALEI ET AL.
... We compiled all the published data and available unpublished records of fishing cats in Nepal between 2009 and 2020, including camera trapping data, live records with photographic evidence, and carcasses of fishing cats (Table 1). We did not include pugmark records due to possible misidentification with other small cats (Palei et al., 2018). The records of fishing cats were compiled, along with the location details and GPS coordinates of each sighting. ...
... Such trend is expected to continue, which could reduce the suitable range of fishing cats in future. The model showed the vital role of wetlands, and forest and grassland cover for the occurrence of fishing cats (Mishra et al., 2018;Palei et al., 2018). However, the freshwater wetland ecosystem is vulnerable to various threats such as shrinkage, decreasing water volume, the spread of invasive species, physical/chemical pollution, and climate change (Chaudhary et al., 2016;Lamsal et al., 2017). ...
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The fishing cat Prionailurus viverrinus is a wetland specialist species endemic to South and Southeast Asia. Nepal represents the northern limit of its biogeographic range, but comprehensive information on fishing cat distribution in Nepal is lacking. To as�sess their distribution, we compiled fishing cat occurrence records (n = 154) from Nepal, available in published literature and unpublished data (2009–2020). Bioclimatic and environmental variables associated with their occurrence were used to predict the fishing cat habitat suitability using MaxEnt modeling. Fishing cat habitat suitability was associated with elevation (152–302 m), precipitation of the warmest quarter, i.e., April–June (668–1014 mm), precipitation of the driest month (4–7 mm), and land cover (forest/grassland and wetland). The model predicted an area of 4.4% (6679 km2 ) of Nepal as potential habitat for the fishing cat. About two-thirds of the predicted poten�tially suitable habitat lies outside protected areas; however, a large part of the highly suitable habitat (67%) falls within protected areas. The predicted habitat suitability map serves as a reference for future investigation into fishing cat distribution as well as formulating and implementing effective conservation programs in Nepal. Fishing cat conservation initiatives should include habitats inside and outside the protected areas to ensure long-term survival. We recommend conservation of wetland sites, surveys of fishing cats in the identified potential habitats, and studying their genetic connectivity and population status
... comm.), Pakke TR (Selvan et al. 2014, Mukherjee et al. 2019, Jhala et al. 2020, Talle Valley WLS (Mukherjee et al. 2019), Singchung-Bugun CCR (Mukherjee et al. 2019) b) Nagaland: Intanki NP (Longchar 2013), Shatuya Forest (Grewal et al. 2013 Eastern coastal areas: Sundarbans TR (Das et al. 2012, Jhala et al. 2020, Bhitarkanika WLS (Palei et al. 2018) Eastern Ghats: Simlipal TR (Palei et al. 2015), Satkosia TR, Papikonda NP (Aditya and Ganesh 2016). In this region, the area between Papikonda and Satkosia-Simlipal remains poorly surveyed. ...
Technical Report
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This is global assessment of Mainland leopard cat status done by a team of biologists who have either worked directly or indirectly on leopard cat and other wildlife in their respective countries
... In addition, given the substantial overlap with human dominated-landscapes, including urban centers and agriculture, and given the long history of settlement in several of these areas, the rapid land-use change over the past century, and the high potential for killing by humans (Cutter, 2015), A. Kamjing, personal communication; Phosri et al., 2021). Third, the relationship found between fishing cats and conditions typical of wide and flat alluvial and coastal plains and the presence of both recent and historical inland records in areas predicted to be suitable by our model, including in northern Myanmar (Morris, 1936), north-central Thailand (Chutipong et al., 2019), northern Cambodia (Rainey & Kong, 2010), the Terai Arc landscape of India and Nepal (e.g., Dahal & Dahal, 2011;Palei et al., 2018;Yadav et al., 2018), and Indus River valley of central and northern Pakistan (Appel, 2011;Blanford, 1888;Roberts, 1977;WWF Pakistan, 2007), may imply a need to rethink some known habitat associations. Most notably, certain habitat types, specifically mangroves, may not be optimal habitat for the species despite the apparent association between the two . ...
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Identifying appropriate conservation measures requires a reasonable understanding of a species' population status, distribution and vulnerability. However, for many species, these variables may not be understood under the context of current conditions alone. Here, we assess the potential role historical changes in climate, sea level and anthropogenic activity may have had on the distribution of one of the world's least‐understood wild cats and identify broader implications for conservation efforts that may not be apparent from just an examination of the species' current distribution. Tropical Asia. Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus). We used a presence‐only ecological niche model and a least‐cost graph‐based connectivity model to characterize the species' bio‐climatic niche and predict changes in suitability and connectivity under current and paleoenvironmental conditions. Fishing cat occurrence was associated with landscapes that were low in elevation and high in topographic wetness and climates that were warm with moderate annual precipitation and moderate seasonal variation in both temperature and precipitation. Since the Last Interglacial, the area predicted to be climatically suitable has ranged from 5.9 million km2 during the Last Glacial Maximum to 2.2 million km2 during the Current Era. Changes in regional connectivity correlated with changes in suitable area for all periods except the Current Era. Relative connectivity of areas affected by past sea level rise was highest in areas with large alluvial plains, emergent coastal areas and deltas. Our findings suggest that the fishing cat's current distribution and vulnerability can be explained by a synergistic combination of historical climate change, sea level rise, and anthropogenic land‐use change. Changes in suitability and connectivity over time highlight potential core areas that are underrepresented by historical survey efforts. Future survey efforts should include these areas, with an emphasis on quantifying tolerances to anthropogenic disturbances.
... This is probably due to the lack of targeted surveys which is evident from the recent studies (e.g. Mohapatra et al. 2014;Debata et al. 2015;Palei et al., 2018;Palei and Debata 2019). In recent year, camera trapping is emerging as an effective tool in many wildlife surveys (Karanth 1995;Jhala et al. 2008;O'Connell et al. 2010;Ahumada et al. 2013;Rovero et al. 2014), such as species inventories and population abundance estimation, especially of cryptic species (Kelly 2008;Palei et al. 2016;Li et al. 2020). ...
Article
The Asiatic wild dog or ‘dhole’ (Cuon alpinus) is an apex predator inhabiting south and southeast Asia. Lack of detailed information on its biology has designated it as one of the lesser-known species throughout its distributional range. Herein, we report the presence and activity pattern of dholes in Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Odisha, India through camera trap surveys from 25th August 2018 to 29 December 2019. From a total of 3150 camera-trapping nights at 123 sampling sites, we obtained 28 independent detections of dhole at nine sites. The activity of species is diurnal, especially in the morning and its activity seems to coincide with its major prey. Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary could be an important habitat and source population for dholes in India, because of abundant prey, lack of disturbance and good habitat connectivity with the central Indian landscape.
... coastal region of India (Palei 2018), and also in mangrove areas (Malla & Sivakumar 2014, Das et al. 2017. Presence of fishing cat was also recorded from several protected areas of north-central India, such as Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (Sadhu & Reddy 2013) and Keoladeo National Park (Haque & Vijayan 1993). ...
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We report the first ever photographic evidence of fishing cat Prionailurus viverrinus from Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, central India. The animal was photocaptured during camera trap sampling as a part of the ongoing study on the ecology of reintroduced tiger and co-predators. This new record triggers the conservation importance of small felids in protected areas
... Previous studies also concluded that nocturnal carnivore species are more exposed to become a victim of road kills (Errizoe et al., 2003;Akrim et al., 2019). This may be endorsed to the animal behaviour, time and season, visibility for drivers and requirement of large areas for foraging (Danilkin and Hewlson, 1996;Clevenger, et al., 2001;Madsen et al., 2002;Cahill et al., 2003;Hothorn et al., 2015).A study conducted on Mandra-Chakwal road, found (n=10)jungle cats killed on road and total 0.05 road kill animals/km (Akrim et al., 2019).Studies also inveterate that male carnivores are more susceptible to road killing because males guard larger territorial areas by patrolling (Caro et al., 2000;Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002;Collinson 2013;Palei et al., 2018). ...
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The jungle cat (Felis chaus) is documented from the riverine, semi-gregarious and territorial felid and this species is well adapted to live in plantations around water sources or in agrarian areas. F. chaus is documented in Palearctic and Oriental regions. Main aim of the study is to document the habitat analysis and first record of jungle cat frim Rawalpindi. During the study we documented topography, ecology, distribution, behaviour and food in their habitat as well as conservation and management issues of this specie. We believe that in Pakistan, a little or few records are known on the population ecology and habitat characterization of this rare wild cat. Keywords: Cat, Ecology, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
... Previous studies also concluded that nocturnal carnivore species are more exposed to become a victim of road kills (Errizoe et al., 2003;Akrim et al., 2019). This may be endorsed to the animal behaviour, time and season, visibility for drivers and requirement of large areas for foraging (Danilkin and Hewlson, 1996;Clevenger, et al., 2001;Madsen et al., 2002;Cahill et al., 2003;Hothorn et al., 2015).A study conducted on Mandra-Chakwal road, found (n=10)jungle cats killed on road and total 0.05 road kill animals/km (Akrim et al., 2019).Studies also inveterate that male carnivores are more susceptible to road killing because males guard larger territorial areas by patrolling (Caro et al., 2000;Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002;Collinson 2013;Palei et al., 2018). ...
Article
The jungle cat (Felis chaus) is documented from the riverine, semi-gregarious and territorial felid, and this species is well adapted to live in plantations around water sources or in agrarian areas. F. chaus is documented in Palearctic and oriental regions. Main aim of the study is to document the first record of jungle cat (Felis chaus) from Rawalpindi. During the study we documented topography, ecology, distribution, behaviour and food in their habitat as well as conservation and management issues of this species. We believe that in Pakistan, a little or few records are known on the population ecology and habitat characterization of this rare wild cat.
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Survey was undertaken for large and medium-sized mammals in Hadgarh Wildlife sanctuary using 60 camera traps during 20th October 2020 to 15th November 2020. There were 2049 independent captures of 19 large and medium-sized mammal species, including herbivores (35.8%), carnivores (5.4%), omnivores (6.4%), birds (5.6%), human traffic (20.3%), and free-ranging feral dogs (7.6%) recorded from 60 camera trap station. Out of 2049 photographs captured, 977 photographs of mammals belong to 13 families. The spotted deer, Axis axis, was the most frequently captured species which represented high relative abundance (RAI =16.13) and the rusty spotted cats (RAI=0.13) were represented by a relatively low abundance. Frequency of various anthropogenic activities were captured; movement of human being 27.67, with location 75%, livestock (RAI=25.80), with location 91.67% and feral dogs 10.40, with locations 50% and found to be negatively correlated with mammalian relative abundance. During the study, anthropogenic pressure such as conversion of natural habitats, encroachment, hunting, cattle grazing, tourism and fishing were observed which must have affected the distribution of mammals in Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. The current camera traps survey will give an insight to the researchers to help in formulating the management strategies for long-term conservation of mammalian species in Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary in future.
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The fishing cat Prionailurus viverrinus is a wetland specialist endemic to South and Southeast Asia. Nepal represents the northern limit of its biogeographic range, but comprehensive information on fishing cat distribution in Nepal is lacking. We compiled fishing cat occurrence records (n=154) from Nepal, available in published literature and unpublished data (2009 – 2020), to assess their distribution. Bioclimatic and environmental variables associated with their occurrence were used to predict the potential fishing cat range using MaxEnt modeling. Fishing cat distribution was influenced by elevation, precipitation of the warmest quarter (18_bio), precipitation of the driest month (14_bio) and land cover. Wetlands and forest cover were the important predictors of fishing cat distribution. The model predicted an area of 4.4% (6,679 km2) of Nepal as potential habitat for the fishing cat. About two third of the predicted potentially suitable habitat lies outside protected areas, however a large part of the highly suitable habitat (67%) falls within protected areas. The predicted habitat map serves as a reference for future investigation into fishing cat distribution as well as formulating and implementing effective conservation programs for fishing cats in Nepal. Fishing cat conservation initiatives should include habitats both inside and outside the protected areas to ensure long-term survival. We recommend conservation of wetland sites, surveys of fishing cats in the identified potential habitats, and study of their genetic connectivity and population status.
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The Vulnerable fishing cat Prionailurus viverrinus faces a perilous future in South-east Asia. It was last sighted in Cambodia in 2003. We deployed 16 camera traps at four sites in southern Cambodia during January–May 2015 to determine if the fishing cat was still present in the country. Eight photograph/video captures of fishing cats were recorded from the mangroves in Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary and one from Ream National Park, but there were no records from Botum Sakor National Park or Prey Nup. A number of other globally threatened species were also photographed in Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary: the Sunda pangolin Manis javanica , the hog deer Axis porcinus and the large-spotted civet Viverra megaspila . We learnt of the killing of an alleged fishing cat at the Sanctuary in July 2015 in retaliation for raiding fishing nets. Illegal hunting and capture of fishing cats for the wildlife trade were reported by local informants at all sites. We provide photographic and video evidence of the fishing cats and highlight the importance of Cambodia's mangroves for threatened species conservation.
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Lack of scientific information encourages biased understanding on status and distribution of different species. The Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus is the world’s smallest felid endemic to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. As much of its distributional range is falling outside protected area network, it is more vulnerable to loss and degradation of the habitat from anthropogenic activities. So, region specific baseline information is essential to reassess its status. In the present study, based on the Forest Department rescue records, we have reported its wide spread distribution in Odisha, eastern India. So, further targeted study in the identified localities is needed to generate baseline information on its status and ecology to develop appropriate conservation plans for future.
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The Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus is classified as Endangered in the IUCN Red List and yet its distribution range within India is not resolved. In spite of its potential habitat being present in coastal Kerala, there are only a few, unsubstantiated records of the cat. Moreover, its occurrence in Sri Lanka strengthens the possibility of its presence (historical or current population) in southern India, including Kerala. This survey was conducted to assess the occurrence of the Fishing Cat in coastal Kerala through personal informal interviews with local people and molecular analysis of scats. The study failed to find any evidence of the occurrence of Fishing Cat in the coastal areas of Kerala. We discuss two possibilities - one, of the species existing earlier but driven to extinction in recent decades, due to high levels of land conversion through anthropogenic activities in these areas and the other of the Fishing Cat having never occurred in coastal Kerala. A speculative reasoning for its absence from the region could be related to the difference in salinity levels between the eastern and western coasts of India which has already been documented. Moreover, fewer freshwater sources merge into the sea in coastal areas of Kerala as compared to the eastern coast of India. This could limit the distribution of the Fishing Cat. The argument was also supported by the lack of any authentic report till date or of local names for the Fishing Cat in the region.
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In coastal South India, the first published records of confirmed evidence-based observations of fishing cats Prionailurus viverrinus were in 2006, and then again in 2012 and 2014, all from the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Andhra Pradesh. With the use of recent local news articles, interviews with local people, field tracking, and camera-trap surveys outside protected areas, we recorded fishing cats in several more locations along the coastline of Andhra Pradesh from November 2013 until August 2014. We present our findings through an online, interactive map and promote the need for data sharing on fishing cats. Based on the reports and our preliminary findings, we surmise that the Krishna and Coringa Wildlife Sanctuaries and proximal mangroves probably hold the southernmost, sizeable populations of fishing cats in India. We also provide details on needed community-based measures for the long-term conservation of fishing cats in this region.
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Cantor’s leaf-nosed bat is distributed in the South Asian and Southeast Asian region and recorded from few localities of India including one locality record from Bihar in Eastern India. Here we report its range extension in Eastern India and first record from Odisha. We recommend that the chiropteran diversity of Odisha need to be assessed for further inventories, particularly in the Eastern Ghats range.