A fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) was sighted walking through the moderately dense mangrove surrounding the Gilalakalandi harbour near Machilipatnam. The mangrove, otherwise a home for Asian sea bass fish species seed, is now under the control of the Revenue Department. Fortunately, a proposal to set up power project in the fishing cat’s habitat was rejected a few years ago. A study done by an independent researcher, Allaparthi Appa Rao and Cat Conservancy, an organisation working on conservation of fishing cat, documented the movements of the fishing cat in the mangroves of Machilipatnam.
“In June, we have photographed the Prionailurus viverrinus on the banks of a backwater channel adjacent to the Gilakaladindi harbour. We have recorded numerous pug marks of the fishing cat near the harbour,” Mr. Appa Rao told The Hindu. The pug marks establishe the presence of the aquatic cat and its search for prey, particularly fish, adds Mr. Appa Rao.
Mr. Appa Rao has been engaged in studying the movements of the cat in the mangrove cover. Its presence was proved through the camera trap arranged in the mangrove forest.