Understanding the Wild South Asian Fishing Cat: An In-Depth Look at this Endangered Species

Fishing Cat

The South Asian fishing cat is one of the most fascinating and mysterious wild cats in the world. This elusive species is found primarily in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka and is listed as endangered due to loss of habitat and poaching. Despite its protected status, very little is known about the South Asian fishing cat due to its secretive nature and limited research opportunities. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the South Asian fishing cat, exploring its unique behaviour, habitat, and conservation efforts. We will also discuss the role of humans in the decline of this species and how we can work to ensure its survival. Whether you are a scientist, conservationist, or just an interested observer, this article has something for everyone. So join us as we dive into the world of the South Asian fishing cat.

Habitat and Range of the South Asian Fishing Cat

The South Asian fishing cat is found primarily along the southern coastlines of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The fishing cat lives primarily in mangrove swamps, tropical deciduous forests, and rainforests, which provide a habitat rich in fish and crustaceans. The species also inhabit areas near rivers, streams, and lakes where it can easily catch its prey. South Asian fishing cats are rarely found more than two miles from a water source, making them the most aquatic of all the fishing cat species.

Diet and Hunting Behaviour of the South Asian Fishing Cat

The South Asian fishing cat diet primarily consists of fish, shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans. The cats use their long, muscular tails for swimming underwater in search of their prey. Each individual dives up to 10 times daily and can stay underwater for up to three minutes each time. The South Asian fishing cats’ short, webbed paws help them navigate in the water, allowing them to swim faster than most other cats. Once the cats find their prey, they grab it with their front paws and use their sharp teeth to kill the animal and bring it to the surface. When the prey is out of the water, the cats use their paws to break open the crustacean’s hard shells.

Physical Characteristics of the South Asian Fishing Cat

The South Asian fishing cat is known as the “waterman” of the felines due to its unique swimming ability and long, webbed paws. This species is much larger than other cats, weighing an average of 12 to 17 kilograms and measuring 48 to 64 centimetres in length. The South Asian fishing cat’s tail is particularly long, reaching up to one-third of its body length. This tail is used to swim efficiently underwater, and it is also used as a water-skating tool while resting on the shoreline.

Threats to the South Asian Fishing Cat

The South Asian fishing cat is threatened primarily by habitat loss and poaching. Much of its habitat has been destroyed due to the building of dams, mining, and other human activities. Additionally, the species is often hunted for its pelt, which is sold illegally in markets throughout South Asia.

Conservation Efforts for the South Asian Fishing Cat

The South Asian fishing cat has been listed as endangered since 1986 and is one of the rarest wild cats in the world. Due to the species’ elusive nature, scientists have a limited understanding of its conservation needs and how best to protect it. Given the fishing cat’s aquatic nature, researchers have suggested building artificial ponds in areas where the cats have become locally extinct. This would allow the cats to repopulate the area and would provide a safe place for them to raise their young.

Role of Humans in the Decline of the South Asian Fishing Cat

Humans have contributed to the decline of the South Asian fishing cat in a variety of ways, many of which are outlined above. The species’ habitat has been destroyed by human development, and the cats have been hunted for their fur and killed as pests. The fishing cat’s natural habitat is also ideal for trapping and netting, both of which are used for commercial fishing. The fishing cat’s aquatic lifestyle means that it is at constant risk of becoming ensnared in fishing nets. In addition to destroying the fishing cat’s habitat and hunting the species for its fur, humans have also introduced non-native species to the South Asian fishing cat’s home range, further reducing the health of the environment.


The South Asian fishing cat is a fascinating species that have evolved to thrive in its aquatic environment. Sadly, these cats have been heavily affected by habitat loss and poaching and are now listed as endangered. Fortunately, conservation efforts are helping to protect the remaining populations of South Asian fishing cats. These efforts include building artificial ponds and reducing the fishing cats’ exposure to fishing nets. With the help of science and human compassion, we can ensure that the South Asian fishing cat thrives for many years to come.

Please visit my site for more photos of wild fishing cats.

Sunrise in a Leopards Eye

Leopard headshot captures sunrise catch light

To understand what makes this a stand-out photo for me, you must head to my professional photo website and check out this image in greater detail. When you zoom in on the eye of the leopard, you can see a clear catchlight of the sunrise.

It was when I got home back to Vancouver, Canada, from the paradise of Sri Lanka and after several months, that on micro editing this photo, I noticed the catch light. I remember that morning clearly. It was our first morning in Yala and our first safari outing. 6:45 am, we are in the jeep and headed to the park when we notice the most fantastic sunrise. So spectacular it looked fake. That seemed to be the omen for what was just minutes later, this leopard.

She sat quietly on the side of the dirt road and stayed there for about 10 minutes. Then she ran off where we could not follow. The dirt roads/paths are the only places you are allowed to be in Yala, and you must be in the jeep. The trails cross around the various “Blocks” that make up the national park. To either side of the path is forest and strictly off limits.

When I finally got to editing all the photos I got of this stunning leopard, this wasn’t even one of the ones I got to first. This is b-roll stuff. She sat for so long that we got a lot of photos. When I finally did get to editing, I realized that the sunrise from that morning is beautifully represented in her eye, and it’s the only photo where it is sharp.

“Hey American!” Calls out from the lake

locals bathing in the village tank

I am just getting back to reworking this image. The lighting conditions were extremely challenging, and to be honest, I was stoned and not expecting to come across three locals bathing in a lake and calling out to take their photos. I am glad they did. This is one of my favourite photos from paradise.

The lighting: It was late into the sunset. The men were backlit by the fading sun. The reflection off the water made it a hard but warm light. The resulting photo had the subject very dark. I got a few others that were better lit, but this is the one I liked most, and it was the one with the worst lighting.

I keep coming back to it, and I will try again. I’ll get happy as soon as I think I have balanced the photo. Again now I can see things I will spend another couple of hours fixing.

Tiltshift Lens on a snow day with trains

CP Rail workers clearing snow off tracks

Recently I got an almost entirely frivolous new lens. It’s the AstrHori 85mm f2.8 Macro tilt lens. In short: I LOVE it.

Before I go much further, here is a link to a gallery on my professional site of some photos taken with this lens.

On the practical side, this lens has some benefits over other lenses. Firstly because it is a tilt-shift lens, the frame has to be larger than a standard lens. This is because there needs to be a larger frame to tilt the lens. So while AstrHori calls this a full frame lens, which is larger than standard, it still needs to be larger, and you will get strong vignetting at an extreme tilt. But there is so much room to play.

Where this really pays on the practical side is the edge-to-edge sharpness when the lens is locked in at a standard barrel lens state. Great for portraits or product photography. Still, on the practical side, it is a fantastic macro lens. These uses alone would make me happy. Plus, you can make money on portraits and product photography, which is as practical as possible.

The gallery above and all the photos I’ve taken with this lens so far have been to work with the tilt-shift aspects of the lens. This requires you to play around and find out what works for you and is not. There is a whole new world of creative options. Best known for the “Minature World” effect on Instagram and elsewhere, tilting and shifting the lens dramatically changes the plane of focus. No longer simply linear to the lens in a standard barrel, it can now be off at any angle of the image.

Plus-minus is that it is a manual focus. All tilt-shift lenses are at the point and time. This can be used creatively as a plus, combined with the tilt, and used in portrait or product photography. I am so excited to see what I get into. One becomes master of the frame on a portrait in new and exciting ways.

Clearly, I love this lens. It’s not the greatest for all things, and it has some flaws, but it wasn’t costly, and on a price vs uses case: it’s a winner.

Osteoarthritis so many useless pills

When the pills are about as good as Apple keyboards.

Osteoarthritis, what a BITCH! The above photo is titled “So many useless pills.”

Merriam Webster: useless, adjective, use·​less ˈyüs-ləs
: having or being of no use:
a useless attempt
b: not able to give service or aid: INEPT

About four months ago, and now late in my 49th year running around, I developed old people problems. I’m joking because it’s either laugh or murder people (again, jokingly). I have developed osteoarthritis in my left big toe. It’s come on fast and HARD!

It hasn’t stopped there. Soon after my toe announced itself with the screaming pain, my foot became trapped in a cage of pain above and below my arch. Now limping most days after about two blocks of walking, I developed a limp, and my inner left knee became as painful as anything else below. My lower back also wanted to join the party.

Crazy how one issue can spiral and cause tension and misalignment that has a ripple effect through half your body. And it doesn’t help when your doctor of thirty years is now half retired, checked out and already on vacation—spending two months chasing his bizarre theory that I have gout.

Pills have been useless, and I have been on large doses. An injection into my big toe was somewhat effective but not enough to want to do it again. This photo I have taken shows a collection of items that are about as useful as the pills featured in the image. I will explore this idea further because I don’t think I realized all of what I wanted here.

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