For more than a decade, wildlife biologist Tiasa Adhya has spent many a day (and night) in a small wooden boat, silently gliding through dense vegetation in the wetlands and mangroves of West Bengal, scanning the banks for signs of a rarely seen wild cat – the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus).

Fishing cats are fascinating animals,” she says. “They have co-inhabited riverine deltas and floodplains alongside humans for centuries. Ancient cultures like the Khmer empire show evidence of fishing cats.” As co-founder of the world’s longest-running fishing cat research and conservation project, Kolkata-based Adhya is dedicated to this endangered felid, one of the least-studied and understood wildcats.

“When we began our work in 2010, very little was known about these cats, both to us and the local communities,” Adhya says of The Fishing Cat Project (TFCP). Today, the species is slightly better understood and appreciated, though it still receives significantly less attention than its larger, more charismatic cousins.

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Created on Sep 18, 2020
By @gurlic