About

WHAT WE DO

HOW WE BEGAN

It was a sad situation
After witnessing rapid wetland clearing in 2013, we made it our mission to understand how fishing cats were adapting to the rapid urbanisation and habitat loss  occurring in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

DOCUMENTING THE LIVES OF FISHING CATS

Though we did give them their privacy
To confirm that fishing cats were still present in Colombo, we began setting remote camera traps in select urban wetland habitats. 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

In this case, sniffing old scat
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!
None of us expected to find fishing cats right in the middle of the city of Colombo, until we came across Mizuchi. Here he was, living in abandoned houses, fishing from people’s garden ponds, eating civets in ceilings, with no wetland in sight. Mizuchi and his litter mate were game changers 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 tag fishing cats. Armed with GPS wildlife collars, we set out to trap fishing cats. It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world – we had to do things on the cats schedule, not ours. Once captured and tagged, 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, the Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, and projects in the Fishing Cat Working Group. 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

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Help us protect this globally vulnerable and nationally endangered fishing cat, by supporting our conservation and research efforts, by giving a small gift today.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ANYA RATNAYAKA, DEVAKA SENEVIRATNE, SEBASTIAN KENNERKNECHT, ESHAN WITANA AND URBAN FISHING CAT CONSERVATION PROJECT