Project start date and status:
With a childhood fascination for wildcats, Giridhar’s career choice as a wildlife biologist has now focused towards the small cat species of India. With his MBZ Species Conservation Grant in June 2016 for the project “Conservation of fishing cat and its mangrove habitats in Godavari mangroves, India”, he tracks 15 Fishing Cats daily, in one of the main creeks in the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary.
Moreover, with the support of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology he has now initiated a pilot project on the vocalization of Fishing Cats. He believes this research could lead to understanding different Fishing Cat vocalizations for different behaviour aspects such as territorial defence or breeding calls in the mangrove habitat.
Giridhar is also focused on creating awareness among the local school children and communities around the mangrove forests of Godavari Estuary through an initiative called “Children for Fishing Cats” in the hopes of changing attitudes towards this threatened cat.
- Collect baseline information on fishing cat ecology in Bangladesh.
- Understand and mitigate conflict with locals in order to ensure long-term conservation at Hail Haor, northeast Bangladesh.
- Understand the human-fishing cat conflict in the project site.
- Reduce conflicts through community awareness programs, outreach events and innovative approaches at the project site.
- Train and engage selected members of the local communities to collect data, rescue captured or injured fishing cats and ideally formulate a local cat conservation/response team.
- Understand the population status of the fishing cat at Baikka Beel and
surrounding areas, Hail Haor, northeast Bangladesh.