Save Fishing Cats Conservation Project

Save Fishing Cats Conservation Project is an on-site program, practising education initiatives and community programs to promote conservation and the awareness of the species. The greatest threats to the fishing cats across the region are destruction of wetlands and their prime habitats by deforestation and fragmentation, conversion to agriculture, aquaculture, excessive hunting, and pollution. This species is a good focal species for the conservation management of protected areas since they are habitat specialists. They also qualify as a flagship species due to their charismatic value. The local populations are highly threatened due to numbers of threats such as road kills, poisoning, hunting, and habitat destruction. Unfortunately, fishing cats are fast earning a bad reputation due to their conflicts with the people living around protected areas.

The Save Fishing Cats team works on investigating threats and conflicts both human and animals face and design plans to mitigate them accordingly. We work on exploring information about small cats and their core habitats to assist in the long-term preservation and to develop local community advocates to promote conservation efforts in Sri Lanka. The project was founded in October 2014 and has been working  to raise public awareness regarding all three small cats with emphasis on fishing cats. So far, a variety of projects have been done in collaboration with numerous individuals and organisations. The Save Fishing Cats team comprises biologists and field assistants who are responsible and committed towards community outreach programs, education and research.