Community Based Conservation of Fishing Cat in Jagdishpur, Kapilvastu of Nepal

Swechhya completed her Masters Degree on Environmental Science in 2018 from Tribhuwan University. She did her dissertation to understand the human-fishing cat conflict in Bara within Fishing Cat Conservation Project Nepal initiated by Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation (SMCRF). Since then, Swechhya has been employed as a project assistant for SMCRF. She is responsible for working with the community of Kapilvastu district to save fishing cats and to conduct a cleanliness campaign at Chandragiri Hills, Kathmandu Valley. In this project Swechhya assists in cleaning the trails and paths for any plastic and other waste materials thrown away by the hikers or commuters. She also coordinates proper waste management training for local communities. This includes installing various waste collection bins and signs along the walking trails. The project also works with a waste management company in Kathmandu to process and recycle the collected waste.

Swechhya is a conservationist by heart and passionate about bringing changes in the local community through communication and sound science.

After discovery of the fishing cat at Jagadishpur reservoir in 2015 by SMCRF, Swechhya has been leading conservation activities that aim to undertake a down-top approach through monitoring and community based conservation of fishing cats to reduce threats like habitat destruction and poaching in Jagdishpur Reservoir of Kapilvastu district, Nepal.The project was initiated in October of 2019 and is funded by The Rufford Foundation and Panthera. Project activities include an awareness program, installing hoarding boards for mass communication, developing conservation groups through collaborating with local community and producing outreach materials like photo books.

Project initiated: 2019
Current status: Ongoing
Primary Investigator: Swechhya Shrestha