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News 2013

22 December

Will Duckworth found an article about Little Egrets Egretta garzetta in Thailand's Pattani Province, in which the authors suspected Fishing Cats to prey on eggs and nestlings (Buatip et al. 2013). Wanlop Chutipong helped to contact one of the authors, Wanchamai Karntanut, who kindly provided photos taken in May 2007 showing a Fishing Cat kept in a cage. The photo to the right is by courtesy of Wanchamai who wrote:

This Fishing Cat was caught in a patchy mangrove near the village of Bangplamor in Muang District of the Pattani Province. This village is about 15 mins drive from the Pattani Campus of the Prince of Songkla University. Local people earn their living on small scale fishery. I'm afraid we couldn't find out whether the cat was a male or female, because it was a bit difficult to get close enough to this wild cat. Eventually, the local people released the cat as it didn't take any food while in captivity.

This is the southernmost Asia mainland record that we know of so far!!


  1. Buatip, S., Karntanut, W. and Swennen, C. 2013. Nesting patterns and breeding success of the Little Egret Egretta garzetta in Pattani Province, Thailand. Forktail 29: 120–123.

20 December

In November, Will and Angie learned about claims of Fishing Cats being present in Sumatra's Way Kambas National Park. One was published in a report of a birding tour in this protected area, and the other on the website of the Sumatran Tiger Trust. Angie followed up these claims: both alleged records turned out to be Leopard Cats. Thanks to János Oláh and Rachel Sanki for helping to resolve this question.

23 October

Tiasa Adhya wrote:

The small cat work in West Bengal received generous funding from both Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation (special thanks to Jim!) for a project on the Impact of fragmentation on competition and persistence of two sympatric felids — the Jungle Cat and the Fishing Cat — in human dominated landscapes of Southern West Bengal, Sundarbans and Northern Chilika. This adds two new sites for more work on conservation and research.

Current land-use policies in India advocate for the conversion of marshlands and swamps to agricultural fields as they are considered wastelands. This project aims at conserving these marshlands that are important habitat for Fishing Cats, Jungle Cats, Yellow Monitor Lizards, waterbirds and migratory birds like moorhens, herons, jacanas, grebes, munias, shovellers, pin-tailed ducks, whistling teals, cotton pygmy geese, avocets and ferrugious pochards.

The project idea draws inspiration from the previous work funded by WWF India. The project report of this work was used by the Calcutta High Court to give orders to stop destruction of a 1000 acres marshland and begin its restoration work. Even the government has backed us in this. See also this newspaper article.

23 September

Anya Ratnayaka wrote:

We have successfully collared and released our first Fishing Cat in Sri Lanka. The cat was a problem animal caught in Ja Ela after raiding a chicken coop. He was then kept in the Horogolla National Park makeshift rehab centre for 2 weeks before being transported to Colombo for his collaring and release.

He was released in the Sri Jaywardenapura Sanctuary, which is the perfect place for the release of a translocated cat.

So far we are getting good GPS points and the cat seems to be doing well.

For more infos read : A chance to survive and thrive published by The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka, 29 September.

8 August

A Fishing Cat was rescued from a residential colony in Kakinada, northern Andhra Pradesh, and rehomed to the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad. For more infos read : City zoo welcomes a new member published by The Hindu, 8 August.


19 June

Tiasa Adhya wrote:

On 9 June, the Supreme Court of India ordered the stop of all illegal filling up of wetlands. The NGOs DISHA and PUBLIC filed the Public Interest Litigation and also submitted our report on the Fishing Cats. This report was a crucial factor in the Supreme Court's decision ordering the companies to vacate the wetlands and start restoring them within 10 days.

The Dankuni wetlands in northern Howrah -- see map below -- is an excellent marshy patch and together with other satellite marshlands covers an area of almost 1,000 acres. This is also Fishing Cat habitat.

13 May

Jimmy Borah just sent this stunning photo of a Fishing Cat camera trapped in the night of 14 March
at 23:22 in the Kaziranga National Park. Thank you, Jimmy !!

5 April

Manori Gunawardena wrote:

We lost the 3 rescued Fishing Cats cubs received in November 2012 to feline parvo. This is before we had to research which shows that facilities can be contaminated for over a year with the virus laying dormant. We have since had the vets and the foster homes sanitized with anti virals.

Currently we have 3 foster locations. Limited because of the lack of knowledgeable care givers. This is fine for now and hope we don't have many rescues this monsoon.

Finally after many months of back and forth we have the permit and documentation to import the vaccine to Sri Lanka. Neville is on it from the UK. We are trying to identify a shipper who will maintain the cold chain.

23 March

orphaned Fishing CatsManori Gunawardena wrote:

This kitten came in last week from about 20 km from Colombo and was found in an area where they are building a highway that will bypass the city.

Colombo highway

The wetlands of greater Colombo are being dredged for flood prevention. I am constantly engaging authorities to leave some habitat intact. Thus far I have been trying to leverage action via World Bank that is funding some components of the Greater Colombo project. I may want the Cat Specialist Group to write officially to the country head regarding the Colombo wetlands and Fishing Cats. While the WB project activities are more within the city and urban areas, they do have a strategic involvement under the Greater Colombo Flood Mitigation project as it is withing the Colombo drainage basin.

19 March

Anya Ratnayaka received a grant from Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation to study the Ecology and Behaviour of Fishing Cats in Urban Habitats of Sri Lanka. CONGRATULATIONS !!

25 January

A Fishing Cat was allegedly captured in a mangrove forest in north Probolinggo, East Java, and taken to the Probolinggo Zoo about a year ago. See also this video recently uploaded to YouTube.