Cat space

Down to Earth - - WILDLIFE -

The fish­ing cat faces a num­ber of threats in West Ben­gal Na­tional High­ways and rail routes cut through the fish­ing cat's habi­tat in Howrah Howrah has lost 44 per cent of its marshes in the last two decades due to de­vel­op­ment. Be­tween 2001 and 2011, marshes in West Ben­gal de­clined by 16 per cent Fac­to­ries in Howrah, release un­treated wa­ter and plas­tic waste into the marsh­lands, which can­not sup­port flora and fauna As many as 450 brick kilns that have come up along the river banks in Howrah in the past three years are il­le­gal. They have fur­ther dam­aged the marshes, the habi­tat of the fish­ing cat Fish­ing cats of­ten face re­tal­ia­tory killing. In 2010-2011, 27 fish­ing cats were killed Tribal com­mu­ni­ties in Howrah dis­trict con­tinue to hunt fish­ing cats for rit­ual pur­poses

A fish­ing cat catching a young python; (inset) the main ac­cused in the June 5 hunt­ing case holds up one of the cats he killed

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