Fishing Cat in the wild ..

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Fishing Cat in Java

The Javan Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrina rhizophoreus was described in 1936 by the Dutch zoologist Henri J. V. Sody who received an adult specimen in May 1932 from the north coast of West Java (Sody 1936).

In February 1992, a Fishing Cat footprint was recorded in a freshwater swamp-forest in the Rawa Danau Nature Reserve. During a survey in wetland areas of West Java conducted between July 1993 and May 1994, Fishing Cat footprints were found in the area of Indramayu on the north coast and in Ujung Kulon National Park in the south-west (Melisch et al. 1996).

In the following map, the anted markers show areas where tracks of Fishing Cats were recorded in the 1990s. For further information about individual locations : click on the marker to zoom in.


On 22 October 2012, Will Duckworth wrote:

Alain Compost filmed wild Fishing Cats in the Pulau Dua Bird Sanctuary several times since December 1988. He continued to go to Pulau Dua regularly until 2000 to film and photograph them, and wrote that those Pulao Dua animals were quite tame and used to see people. In 2006, he only got a second-hand statement that they had all been poisoned, but that he was sure that some still survive in the Banten Bay area and in Ujung Kulon NP, where he had also seen them.

Photo by courtesy of Alain Compost.

Photo excerpted from the video below.

On 9 September 2017, a Fishing Cat was recorded for the first time in eastern Java. Erwin Wilianto, Iwan Londo and their team had set up camera-traps in the Wonorejo Mangroves south of Surabaya on 5 September. Team members were Agus Azhari, Cipto Dwi Handono, Ivan Martin and Happy Ferdiansyah.

On 14 September, Angie showed the video to some participants of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Summit. Alex Sliwa, Grégory Breton and Neville Buck know both Fishing Cat and Leopard Cat from captive environments. They all confirmed that the video shows a Fishing Cat.


  1. Sody, H.J.V. 1936. Seventeen new generic and subspecific names for Dutch East Indian mammals. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch-Indië 96 (1): 42–55.
  2. Melisch, R., Asmoro, P. B., Lubis, I. R., Kusumawardhani, L. 1996. Distribution and status of the Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus rhizophoreus Sody, 1936) in West Java, Indonesia (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae). Faunistische Abhandlungen. Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde Dresden 20 (17): 311–319.

Text and map compiled by Angie Appel in October 2012 with kind support by Will Duckworth.

Suggested citation:

Appel, A. 2017. Fishing Cat in Java, Indonesia. Fishing Cat Working Group.