Census of fishing cats begins in Odisha

The Samikhsya Bureau

BHUBANESWAR: The Chilika Development Authority has undertaken a census of the endangered fishing cat species in the State that commenced this week.

This is the first of its kind to ascertain the status of the species in Odisha.

The fishing cat is usually found in wetland and mangrove areas. It is spotted mostly in South-East Asian countries, wildlife experts say.

The species is listed in Schedule 1 as the vulnerable species under Indian Wildlife (Protection Act), 1972.

CDA has deployed about 100 camera along Chilika coast for the census that would continue for a month.

The species is threatened by destruction of wetland and has declined drastically during the past decades causing concern.

The species is found in Astarang, Konark, Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary and Rajanagar areas in Odisha.

CDA has divided Chilika shores into three zones – Sorana, Mangalajodi and Haridas – for convenience in counting.