Andhra Pradesh

Fishing cat pugmarks revive hopes on population increase in Bandar Reserve Forest

Pugmarks of fishing cat recorded in Bandar Reserve Forest in Krishna district

Pugmarks of fishing cat recorded in Bandar Reserve Forest in Krishna district   | Photo Credit: T. Appala Naidu

The reserve forest is disturbed for commercial activities

The pugmarks of fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) were recorded by the Forest Department in the three locations adjacent to the salt fields in the Bandar Reserve Forest (BRF) near Kona village in Krishna district.

The pugmarks were sighted in the 50-hectare area on which the Forest Department was restoring the mangrove cover through the fishbone method.

Accompanied by representatives of the Forest Department, this Correspondent had photographed the pugmarks at the site (Latitude 16.036405 - Longitude 81.130546) on Sunday.

The pugmarks appeared fresh by Sunday, leaving a clue on the presence of the fishing cat in the reserve forest. A technical study is required to be carried out to ascertain the gender of the fishing cat(s), the Schedule-1 species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The crab hunters living in the core area of the BRF told The Hindu that the animal moving around in the forest during nights.

The team representing the Forest Department — Pandu and Allaparthi Appa Rao — told The Hindu, “The pugmarks of the fishing cat have been found in three locations in the area which has not been surveyed earlier. Sighting of the pugmarks gives us a clue that the BRF continues to be a safe habitat for the species.” All the pugmarks were sighted within the radius of half a kilometre.

“Last July, a drive has been launched to restore the mangrove cover in the 50-hectare area in the BRF. The restoration nears completion with this area witnessing a healthy growth of plants,” added Mr. Appa Rao.

No protection

Protection and watch on the forest cover and wildlife in the BRF is absent. Not even a single base camp has been set up across the BRF. The destruction of the mangrove cover is rampant for brackish water aquaculture.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:44:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/fishing-cat-pugmarks-revive-hopes-on-population-increase-in-bandar-reserve-forest/article30497960.ece

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