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Fishing Cat in Thailand

In recent years, several protected areas were surveyed to collect ecological information on Fishing Cats. Camera traps placed along animal trails recorded one Fishing Cat in the Kaeng Krachan National Park, and another one in the Thale Noi Non-hunting Area (Cutter and Cutter 2009). At least three and potentially four or more individual Fishing Cats were recorded in semi-natural reed patches in the south-west of the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park (Cutter 2009).

The Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park located in the Gulf of Thailand was established in 1966 as the country’s first coastal park. The 98 sq km protected area encompasses wooded limestone hills rising up to 605 m, coastal flats and a freshwater marsh, and is an important breeding and wintering site for large water birds, passerines and raptors. The park is surrounded by paddy-fields, coastal marshes and degraded mangroves. In the late 1980s, the boom of the prawn farming industry encouraged local people to encroach upon low-lying areas of the park and illegally establish aquaculture ponds (Parr et al. 1993). Dikes and channels were constructed, and natural wetlands converted to salt ponds to provide saline water for inland shrimp aquaculture (Yasué and Dearden 2009).

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

Parinya Padungtin is a Thai journalist and writes about fishing, wildlife photography and bird watching for more than 20 years. He shows a small collection of his photos at the database of the Oriental Bird Club.

Usually, Parinya photographs birds with his Nikon D90 camera, to which he connects a home-made infrared beam, a passive infrared motion sensor and three or four Nikon speed lights. In the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, he also obtained stunning photographs of Fishing Cats.

Somjai

 

The radio-collared female is known as Somjai. She passed by Parinya’s camera trap in the night of 23 January 2011 at 22:20 close to the mangroves.

 

When Parinya visited Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park in March 2011 he noticed fresh cat tracks on a trail about 20 m away from a salt water pool. He deployed his camera trap equipment and left it mounted for only one night. During these few hours, he obtained three images of Fishing Cats.

female Fishing Cat

This female was recorded for the first time. She was photographed in the evening of 26 March at 19:30.

Vayu

This male named Vayu was recorded before sunrise of 27 March at 4:15.

young Fishing Cat

The juvenile Fishing Cat passed by Parinya's camera trap in the morning of 27 March at 5:30.

Photos are by courtesy of Parinya Padungtin.

Sincere thanks to John W. K. Parr for providing his articles about the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park !!

Text and map compiled by Angie Appel, and reviewed by Will Duckworth in June 2013.

References

  1. Cutter, P. 2009. Camera Trapping and Conservation Status Assessment of Fishing Cats at Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park, Thailand and Surrounding Areas. Fishing Cat Research and Conservation Project, Occasional Report #5.
  2. Cutter, P. and Cutter, P. 2009. Recent sightings of Fishing Cats in Thailand. Cat News 51: 26–27.
  3. Parr, J. W. K., Mahannop, N. and Charoensiri, V. 1993. Khao Sam Roi Yot – one of the world's most threatened parks. Oryx 27: 245–249.
  4. Yasué, M. and Dearden, P. 2009. The importance of supratidal habitats for wintering shorebirds and the potential impacts of shrimp aquaculture. Environmental Management 43 (6): 1108–1121.

Text and map compiled by Angie Appel, and reviewed by Will Duckworth in June 2013.

Suggested citation:

Appel, A. 2013. Fishing Cat in Thailand. Fishing Cat Working Group.