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CDA to conduct Fishing Cat census in Chilika

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Chilika Development Authority (CDA) is all set to begin Phase 2 of the fishing cat population census in Chilika. 

The Chilika wildlife division and the fishing cat project, in partnership with Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance (FCCA) have collaborated with CDA for the census.

The first phase of the fishing cat census was conducted in the north-eastern sector of Chilika lake and recorded 119 fishing cats.

The second phase will cover islands along the coastal strip of Chilika lake, in between Bay of Bengal and the lagoon. This area has a matrix of mangrove associated species like Pandanus or Keya, ponds along with cashew plantations and hamlets.

Fishing cat is a Schedule-I species like the tiger and elephant and the CDA had declared the fishing cat as Chilika’s ambassador species in 2020.

Sharing about the census, Chief Executive Officer of CDA, Susanta Nanda said, “The population of fishing cat will be monitored regularly like we monitor the population of birds and dolphins in the region. Camera traps will also be deployed.”

In 2021, the fishing cat project and CDA started a year-long patrolling and monitoring initiative on the fishing cat by engaging local residents.

The CDA in association with the fishing cat project will design a fishing cat action plan in Chilika this year.

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