FISHING CAT FEBRUARY 2019
February is a month dedicated to this wetland loving species!
So what exactly is a fishing cat?
Fishing cats are a highly elusive species, found mainly in wetland and mangrove habitats. However, some populations in Sri Lanka have been recorded in highly urbanized landscapes and montane forests.
They are classified as Vulnerable under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and Endangered within their South and Southeast Asian range countries.
Fishing cats are often feared and killed because they are mistaken for young leopards.
Unlike most species of feline, fishing cats love water and are known to dive in and swim after fish!
They have two layers of fur. The first is its dense undercoat which keeps the cat warm and dry while swimming. The second is made up of long guard hairs that is responsible for the cats coat colour and spot pattern.
Like cheetahs, fishing cats have semi-retractable claws on their hind paws. These are the only two felids that have this adaptation.
These semi-retractable claws help keep fishing cats firmly in place on muddy banks when grabbing fish out of the water.