The conservation status of the Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus Bennett, 1833 (Carnivora: Felidae) In Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal

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Iain Rothie Taylor
Hem Sagar Baral
Prava Pandey
Prativa Kaspal


The status of the Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal was assessed by camera trapping and pugmark searches from 2011 to 2014.  The reserve is a highly dynamic and unstable snow-fed braided river system with many anabranches and islands.  Evidence of Fishing Cats was found throughout most of the reserve.  They were probably more abundant on the eastern side, among the islands of the main river channel, and in the adjacent buffer zone where there was a chain of fishponds and marsh areas fed by seepage from the main river channel.  Evidence of Fishing Cats was found up to 6km north of the reserve on the Koshi River but not beyond this.  The population is probably small and may be isolated but given the endangered status of the species, is significant.  The main likely threats identified are wetland and riparian habitat deterioration caused by over exploitation and illegal grazing by villagers, overfishing of wetlands and rivers within the reserve, and direct persecution arising from perceived conflicts with fish farming and poultry husbandry.  Required conservation actions are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Iain Rothie Taylor, Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, PO Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia

Iain R. Taylor, PhD, BSc, has more than 40 years research experience, mostly at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His interests are in the ecology and behaviour of predator-prey interactions, the conservation of predators and also in wetland ecology and management. He has been involved in projects in Nepal for the past 36 years. 


Hem Sagar Baral, School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University, PO Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University, PO Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia Present address: Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Nepal Office, PO Box 5867, Kathmandu, Nepal Himalayan Nature, PO Box 10918, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal

Hem Sagar Baral has a PhD in Ecology from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He has been involved in wildlife research and conservation for nearly three decades primarily birds and mammals. In the past he has worked as CEO for BirdLife Nepal, founded charities like Himalayan Nature and Nepalese Ornithological Union and supported running of them for a number of years, and very recently appointed as Country Manager for Zoological Society of London - Nepal Office.


Prava Pandey, Himalayan Nature, PO Box 10918, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal Present address: Department of Environmental Science, Amrit Campus, Tribhuvan University, PO Box 102, Kathmandu, Nepal

Prava Pandey has MSc in Environmental Science from Tribhuvan University. She has been involved in wildlife research and conservation for about six years especially in endangered species of Nepal. In the past she has worked as research officer for Himalayan Nature. Currently she has been worked as part-time teaching assistant in Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan Univeristy as well as consultant for other wildlife organization of Nepal.  Mrs. 


Prativa Kaspal, Himalayan Nature, PO Box 10918, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal

Prativa Kaspal has completed Masters Degree in Environmental Science from Tribhuwan University. She has been involved in biodiversity conservation especially in wildlife research and conservation education on the globally threatened species of mammals and birds of Nepal for more than eight years.  She worked as a conservation officer in a nonprofit organization, Himalayan Nature for more than six years.  Currently together with the team members, she is publishing the first book on the globally threatened and Critically Endangered Pangolins in Nepal. Besides, she is working as a part time assistant lecturer in Bhaktapur Multiple Campus, Tribhuwan University.



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