Fishing Cat Conservation in the Eastern Ghats

Murthy holds a Master of Science in Zoology and is the founder and lead conservation biologist for the Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society (EGWS) and is a Global Wildlife Conservation Associate Conservation Scientist. With over a decade of experience in wildlife conservation, Murthy works closely with communities throughout the Eastern Ghats, especially outside the protected areas where human-wildlife conflict occurs, monitoring wildlife and providing education and intervention strategies. In many areas, he trains volunteers and employs part-time research assistants, building capacity among local communities to become empowered stakeholders in the conservation of their wildlife.

Murthy is an alumnus of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders Program supported by the Wildlife Conservation Network based in San Francisco, United States of America. Murthy makes regular presentations about his conservation work throughout India and Asia, and has been a guest presenter at multiple zoos in the USA. He also successfully conceptualised and designed wildlife education centres across India in 17 different sites that include wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and zoos as a protected area interpretation consultant.

His project envisages developing a comprehensive understanding of the bio-geographical distribution of the fishing cat in the Eastern Ghats region of South India and the implications of various human-induced activities on its survival through ecological niche modelling, camera trapping, signs and tracks survey, structured interviews with locals and documentation of historical records. Another major component of the project involves promoting awareness among local people living in towns/villages near fishing cat habitats and positively engaging them in conservation efforts by capacity-building measures not only to monitor its populations but also to document any threats to their survival in unprotected/unclassified forest areas.

Project initiated: 2015
Current status: Ongoing
Primary Investigator: Murthy Kantimahanti