A Fishing Cat Kitten in the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve

by Soumyajit Nandy
Soumyajit Nandy

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Wetlands are the primary habitat of the fishing cat. In India, fishing cats are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, in the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys, smaller coastal wetlands along the bay of Bengal and in the Western Ghats.

Sundarbans in West Bengal has become popular for increased tiger sightings. However, the sighting of lesser cats, like the Leopard Cat and the Fishing Cat, still remains rare due to their nocturnal habits. In fact, the latter is one of the least seen mammals in Indian Sundarbans.

I had a fleeting glimpse of an individual in Feb 2017 basking in the early morning sun during a foggy winter morning. In Feb 2019, a few of us got to see a juvenile fishing cat soaked in the mist and enjoying the warmth of the rising sun. We decided to maintain a safe distance and ensure it was undisturbed. The sighting went on for a long time, until it was hot enough for the cat to recede into the mangroves.

Wetlands are the primary habitats of the fishing cat. In India, fishing cats are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, in the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys, smaller coastal wetlands along the bay of Bengal and in the Western Ghats (Courtesy: WWF India). The fishing cat, locally known as Baghrol or Macchbagha, meaning fish-eating tiger is the State animal of West Bengal.

Read more about Fishing Cats on Conservation India.

About the author

Soumyajit Nandy

Soumyajit is a wildlife photographer documenting the Indian Sundarbans and its tigers for the past 5 years.



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