Roop Chatterjee Reward Points : 21400 Member Since : Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Indus delta Bharatpur in Rajasthan coastal backwaters estuaries and swamps of the southern states and of West Bengal are abundant in the species of Fishing Cat.....I would like to know more characteristics of this Indian mammal
The fishing cat is about twice the size of a large house cat, with a head and body length of about 70 cm 28 . Males weigh as much as 16 kg 35 lb . Its short, coarse fur is mouse gray or olive brown and covered with small black spots. The underside of the body is white, and there are two dark collars on the throat. On its face, back, and neck the spots merge into short streaks or lines. The short tail is marked with 5 or 6 black rings and a black tip. The fishing cat is strongly associated with wetlands. It is typically found in swamps and marshy areas, oxbow lakes, reed beds, tidal creeks and mangrove areas. It has been recorded at elevations up to 1800 m 5900 in the Indian Himalayas. Fish are the most frequent prey of the fishing cat. Other prey include crabs, frogs, rats, civets, fawns, calves, snakes, lizards and birds. The fishing cat is a nocturnal hunter. It is very much at home in the water. It is a strong swimmer, even in deep water, and it can swim long distances. The fishing cat appears to be a solitary hunter, but otherwise there is little information on its social organization or mating behavior in the wild. The fishing cat has a limited and discontinuous distribution in Asia. It is very rare in the Indus Valley of Pakistan, and there may be scattered populations in coastal areas of Kerala in southwest India and Sri Lanka. Its main distribution is in the Himalayan foothill region of India and Nepal, and then south through Bangladesh, Myanmar, and northern Thailand to Vietnam. It is also found in Sumatra and Java, Indonesia.
The fishing cat has a limited and discontinuous distribution in Asia. One major portion of its distribution is found in the Himalayan foothill region of India and Nepal. Also in India, the fishing cat is found in the valleys of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, along the upper part of the east coast and possibly in coastal areas of Kerala in southwest India, although it may have disappeared from this region. Recently a fishing cat was found dead 40 km 25 mi southeast from Nagpur, in central India, an area outside its known range. There also may or may not be scattered populations in Sri Lanka. F
Posted On : 04/16/09 3:15:47 AM
Prerna Gupta Reward Points : 17400 Member Since : Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The fishing cat is a nocturnal hunter. It is very much at home in the water. It is a strong swimmer, even in deep water, and it can swim long distances. The fishing cat has been observed to dive into water after fish, as well as to crouch on a rock or sandbank near the water and swat the fish out onto dry land with its paw. It has even been seen to catch waterfowl by swimming up to them while fully submerged and seizing their legs from underneath. The fishing cat appears to be a solitary hunter, but otherwise there is little information on its social organization or mating behavior in the wild. Limited radio-tracking data suggest that the fishing cat follows the usual feline pattern in which a male s home range overlaps the smaller home ranges of several females. Sunquist & Sunquist 2002 In captivity, males have been observed aiding in the rearing of young. The fishing cat lives an average of 12 years, but it has been known to live more than 15 years in captivity.
Fishing cats frequently enter water to take fish, frogs, crabs and even molluscs. They also prey on snakes, birds and small mammals. They are said to have taken calves, goats and dogs and will scavenge the carcasses of larger animals. These cats are assumed to be polyestrous year round. They are said to have a characteristic mating call, but the call has not been described. Dens are constructed in dense shrubbery, reeds, hollow trees, in rocky crevices, or in other secluded locations. Kittens have been seen in the wild in April and June, and have been born at the Philadelphia Zoo in March and August. One to four, usually two, kittens are born after a 63 - 70 day gestation, and weigh around 170 grams at birth. Their eyes are open by 16 days, meat is taken around 53 days, and the kittens are weaned between four and six months. Adult size is attained at eight to nine months, and the young are independent between 12 - 18 months. It is thought that in the wild the adult male may help with the care and supervision of the young, but this is unverified. Captive individuals have lived to 12 years of age. Wetland destruction is the primary threat facing this species, as over 50% of Asian wetlands are under threat and disappearing. Fishing cats are considered a food item in some areas of their range, and are also persecuted for taking domestic stock. Skins sometimes turn up in Asian markets, though far less frequently than other cats. They are protected over most of their range, with the exceptions of Bhutan, Malaysia and Vietnam. Although they are considered locally common around wetlands, their wild status overall is poorly known, and they have been placed on Appendix II of CITES. The IUCN Red List has the fishing cat as Near threatened.
One remarkable feature is the layered structure of their fur, a crucial adaptation to life in the water. Next to the skin lies a layer of short hair so dense that water cannot penetrate it. Like snug-fitting thermal underwear, this coat helps keep the animal warm and dry even during chilly fishing expeditions. Sprouting up through the first coat is another layer of long guard hairs which gives the cat its pattern and glossy sheen. The terms Handun Diviya and Kola Diviya are also used by the local community to refer to the Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus , another little-known small cat in suburban habitats of Sri Lanka. Both animals are nocturnal and elusive and therefore distinct identity as to which one is referred as Handun Diviya is arguable.
Posted On : 04/16/09 3:21:48 AM
Maniam PS Reward Points : 273700 Member Since : Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus is a medium-sized cat whose disjunct global range extends from eastern Pakistan through portions of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, throughout Bangladesh and Mainland Southeast Asia to Sumatra and Java. Its fur has an olive-grey color and dark spots roughly arranged in longitudinal stripes. The face has a distinctly flat-nosed appearance. The size is variable while in India it is 80 cm plus 30 cm tail, in Indonesia, it is only 65 cm 26 in plus 25 cm 10 in tail. Indian individuals usually range up to 11.7 kg 26 lbs , while in Indonesia common weights are approximately 6 kg 13 lbs . They are stocky of build with medium short legs, and a short muscular tail of one half to one third of their head and body length. Like its closest relative, the Leopard Cat, the Fishing Cat lives along rivers, brooks and mangrove swamps. It is perhaps better adapted to this habitat, since it swims often and skillfully. As the name implies, fish is the main prey of this cat, of which it hunts about 10 different species. It also hunts other aquatic animals such as frogs or crayfish, and terrestrial animals such as rodents and birds. The inter-digital webs on its paws help the cat gain better traction in muddy environments and water, like other mammals in semi-aquatic environments. The Fishing Cat is endangered due to its dependence on wetlands, which are increasingly being settled and converted for agriculture, and also due to human overexploitation of local fish stocks.