World’s first fishing cat census done in Chilika
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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