Fishing cats | Bhitarkanika | UPSC
Odisha starts project to conserve Bhitarkanika fishing cats
WHY IN NEWS:
The nocturnal species are not easy to trace; no exact ecological data on their population at the park
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity : IUCN
For PRELIMS note down the key points such as IUCN status , CITES and the habitat .
SOURCES : iucnredlist.org
- The species is listed as ‘endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
- This means it faces a high threat of extinction in the wild.
THE NEW CONSERVATION PLAN :
- Plan includes mapping the region.
- Survey of the cat population.
- No exact ecological data on the population of the fishing cat in the park is available as of now.
- In 2019, during a mammal census in Bhitarkanika, only 20 fishing cats were spotted.
Fishing cats hunt fish and crustaceans for food.
PROTECTION STATUS :
- CITES : The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) lists the fishing cat on Appendix II in Article IV of CITES.#governs international trade .
- WLPA 1972 : The species is also classified under the first schedule of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Fishing cats hunt fish and crustaceans for food from the park’s water bodies.
- They dive in to catch prey with their hooked claws.
- They can also hunt livestock and poultry in villages near forests and have also known to encroach human habitations.
- The prawn mafia in the area have reportedly destroyed aquatic ecologies by converting wetlands and mangrove forests into prawn farms.
- Fishing cats earlier roamed in these areas for fish.
Abundant fish in rivers and creeks due to a fishing ban and relatively larger distances from human habitation, however, has reduced such conflicts around Bhitarkanika.
SOURCES:DownToEarth | Fishing cats | Bhitarkanika | UPSC
DISCOVER MORE : Important IUCN Articles | Prelims 2020