What We Do
How We Began
It was a sad situation
After witnessing rapid wetland clearing in 2013, our team made it their mission to understand how the fishing cats were adapting to the rapid habitat degradation occurring in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Photographing the lives of fishing cats
But we did give them their privacy
To confirm that there was still a presence of fishing cats in Colombo’s urban wetlands, we began setting camera traps in selected wetland habitats in Colombo. Needless to say there was a lot of trial and error as we learned the finer points of camera trapping. It would be months before we actually got a hit!
Smiling for the cameras
Sometimes they did squint though
And what a hit it was. We were finally given a front row seat into the life of this endangered species, as it went about its business in this equally endangered habitat.
The discovery of Mizuchi
Fishing cats in the city
What none of us expected, was finding fishing cat slap bang in the middle of the city of Colombo. No where near a wetland. Living in abandoned houses, fishing from people’s garden ponds, and eating the civets in ceilings. Mizuchi and his litter mate were a game changer in what we knew about the species.
Capturing and Collaring
It was time to start stalking these cats
Our next task was to capture and collar fishing cats. Armed with GPS wildlife collars, we set out to trap fishing cats. It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world – team work and corporation are two words that are not in a fishing cats vocabulary. Once captured and fitted with a collars the fishing cats were sent on their way. The data coming in from our collars just blew us away.
Collaborating for Conservation
We aren't a territorial team
From the very beginning we have worked very closely with the Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. By sharing the information we get from our cats with relevant government stakeholders, the fishing cat has become a flagship species for wetland conservation in Colombo.
We can't do this alone!
Help us protect the nationally endangered fishing cat, by supporting our conservation and research efforts, by giving a small gift today.
Photographs by: Sebastian Kennerknecht, Terry Whittaker, Eshan Witane and Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project