Fishing-Cat

The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. In 2008, the IUCN classified the fishing cat as Endangered. Fishing cat populations are threatened by destruction of wetlands and declined severely over the last decade.Fishing cats live foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps and mangroves.

Fishing cats are broadly but discontinuously distributed in Asia, and are primarily found in the Terai region of the Himalayan foothills in India and Nepal, in eastern India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. There are no recent records from Pakistan, and no confirmed records from Peninsular Malaysia and Vietnam.There are no confirmed records in Laos.

Fishing cats are the largest of the Prionailurus cats. They are about twice the size of a domestic cat and have a stocky, muscular build with medium to short legs. The coarse fur is olive-grey with dark spots arranged in horizontal streaks running along the length of the body. The face is elongated with a distinctly flat nose and ears set far back on the head. The underside is white, and the back of the ears are black with central white spots. There are a pair of dark stripes around the throat, and a number of black rings on the tail. Their head-to-body length typically ranges from 57–78 cm (22–31 in), with a short tail of 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in), which is one half to one third the length of the rest of the animal. They weigh from 5–16 kg (11–35 lb).The face is spotted and the ears are short and rounded. Black spots run longitudinally across the body, and six to eight dark stripes run from behind the eyes to the nape. The underside fur is longer and often overlaid with spots.

Their feet are less completely webbed than those of leopard cats, their claws incompletely sheathed.Webbed feet have often been noted as a characteristic of the fishing cat, but the webbing beneath the toes is not much more developed than that of a bobcat.