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The Little Tiger of Sindh

July 21, 2014

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Once upon a time there use to be vast swaths of marshes and wetlands across Sind, Pakistan that was home to an amazing diversity of fauna and flora but now what remains is landscape that is plagued by human agricultural intensification and hunting pressure that threatens some of the world’s most endangered species with extinction.


One such species is the Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), that is now an endangered species threatened throughout its old haunts from Pakistan to island of Java in Indonesia. Once common around the marshes, wetlands and mangroves of Southern & South-east Asia, widespread destruction and fragmentation of its habitat, pollution and hunting has pushed this species to the edge of extinction.


In Pakistan, Fishing cats were found along the wetlands and marshes of river Indus but since the past few decades this species has almost gone extinct from its entire range. The remnants of the population that survives in Sind province are now under pressure from urban development, deforestation, agricultural conversion, pollution and climate change. To add further with the list of threats this incredible species is ruthlessly hunted for its prized skin that fetches high price in the black market.



Recently in the Dawn News an article was published erroneously headlined, ‘Indian’ cheetah cub shot dead’. But Indian Cheetah aptly known as Asiatic Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) are long extinct from India and only a small and precariously declining population of 40-70 individuals survives in Iran’s vast central desert. The medium sized cat that was killed was a Fishing cat that crossed over from India to the district of Badin in Sind. Sind offers the last refuge to this endangered cat before it goes extinct forever from Pakistan.

Social media and newspapers are filled with photographs of hunters posting pictures of endangered wild cats like Common leopard, Fishing cat and other species either hunted as trophy, pest or captured as pets. If the Government of Pakistan does not takes tough action to put a full stop on this massacre then it won’t be long that we would be losing our wild cats like the Asiatic lion, Bengal Tiger and possibly the Asiatic Cheetah lost from Pakistan.


Written by


Salman Khan aka “GreenGuru“ is a passionate eco blogger, activist and writer on environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and climate change related topics. A millennial polymath, entrepreneur & visionary that has founded “GreenGuru” – a sustainable media company – “Wild Planet” – as social media for wildlife enthusiasts – and “Natureology” – a new age naturalistic spiritualism.

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