World’s first fishing cat census done in Chilika

Tags: National

As per the census conducted by the Chilka Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with The Fishing Cat Project (TFCP), there are 176 fishing cats in Chilka Lake.

  • The Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon.

  • This is the world's first population estimate of a fishing cat, conducted outside a protected area network. 

  • How was the census conducted?

  • The estimation was done in two phases.

  • The first phase was conducted in 2021 on 115 sq km of marshy land in the north and north-eastern section of Chilka.

  • The second phase took place in Parikud along the coastal  islands of Chilika.

  • During the entire process, a total of 150 camera traps were deployed, each in the field for 30 days.

  • The Spatially Sxplicit Capture Recapture (SECR) method was used to analyze the data.

  • The local fishermen and the villagers of Chilka were the primary participants in this exercise.

  • Ten undergraduate and postgraduate students also volunteered in the exercise.

  • About fishing cats

  • Scientific Name - Prionailurus viverrinus

  • It is nocturnal (active at night)

  • In India, these are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, on the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys and in the Western Ghats.

  • IUCN Red List - Vulnerable

  • Threats - Habitat Destruction, Shrimp Farming, Poaching etc

  • About Chilika Lake

  • It is the largest lagoon in Asia and the second largest in the world.

  • In 1981, Chilka Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

  • This salt water lake is spread over Ganjam, Puri and Khurda districts of Odisha.

  • The lake is home to millions of migratory birds and endangered plants and animals.

  • What is a lagoon?

  • The word "lagoon" is derived from the Italian word laguna, means 'pond' or 'lake'.

  • This is a body of water separated from larger bodies of water by a natural barrier.

  • There are two types of lagoons - atoll and coastal. 

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