Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is a wildlife sanctuary located in Andhra Pradesh.
- It falls in Krishna and Guntur districts.
- With an area of 194.8 km, it lies between the Bay of Bengal and the Krishna river.
- It is one of the rarest eco-regions in the world because it harbours vast tracts of pristine mangrove forest.
- In 1998, it was declared as wildlife sanctuary and since then no survey on the fauna had been carried out.
- In 2014-16, a pilot project was carried out in which 15 fishing cats were recorded.
- Population of fishing cat has increased in KWS due to the conservation of the mangroves.
- As per the Forest Report 2015, there has been a net increase of 17 sq. km. of mangrove forest cover in Krishna district since 2013.
- To have an authentic data on presence of the wildlife is the need of an hour to prepare conservation strategies.
- Thus, a six-month status survey is being carried out by installing camera traps in the most strategic 20 wildlife grids.
- The survey will proceed by carrying out Fishing Cat census.
- It also includes geo-tagging of the wildlife, particularly the fishing cat.
Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)
- It is a feline with a powerful build and stocky legs.
- It is about twice the size of a typical house cat and is nocturnal in nature.
- It is an adept swimmer and enters water frequently to prey on fish.
- Apart from fish, it also preys on frogs, crustaceans, snakes, birds and scavenges on carcasses of larger animals.
- Wetlands are the favourite habitats of the fishing cats.
- In India, fishing cats are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, on the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys and in the Western Ghats.
- It is a state animal of West Bengal.
- Some of the threats faced by the fishing cats are:
- Destruction of wetlands
- Depletion of its main prey-fish due to unsustainable fishing practices
- Poaching (for its skin)
- Indiscriminate trapping, snaring and poisoning
- On IUCN red list, it is classified as ‘Vulnerable’.
- On Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) lists, it is placed in Appendix II part of Article IV.
- In India,it is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and thereby protected from hunting.
Section : Environment & Ecology