Strengthening Conservation Efforts Towards Fishing Cat Protection in the Non- Protected Mangroves, Andhra Pradesh

Giridhar Malla

Fishing cats are one of the ten small cat species present in India and they are categorised as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Multiple threats have been identified for the fishing cat population in several non-protected areas of Andhra Pradesh, India. These threats include the loss and degradation of mangroves, retaliatory killings, and extensive land-use changes driven primarily by the expansion of the aquaculture industry and industrial development.

© Giridhar Malla/Godavari Fishing Cat Project Photographs.

© Giridhar Malla/Godavari Fishing Cat Project Photographs.

These factors have collectively contributed to the decline of the fishing cat's habitats and population in these regions. Therefore, the proposed project will strengthen conservation efforts and implement improved habitat management practices. The project aims to secure the long-term survival of the highly threatened fishing cat species in the Krishna and Godavari deltas. Our crucial long-term objective will be the restoration of corridor connectivity through sustainable mangrove regeneration, creating awareness to fishing communities and threat reduction programmes in the nonprotected areas. Despite the densely populated coastal nature of these regions, there is immense potential for the Godavari-Krishna deltas to be designated as a Fishing Cat Conservation Unit (FCU) in India.

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