The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a small cat species that thrives in wetland habitats across Southeast Asia. True to their name, they fish for food along rivers and streambeds. They tap the water with a paw to attract fish to the surface. When the fish appears, the fishing cat scoops the fish out of the water to eat them. But they don't just hunt on the surface: fishing cats aren't afraid to dive right into the water. They are adapted to swimming with their eyes open, giving them an advantage when chasing prey underwater. They have even been known to pull ducks under water to prey upon them.
Despite their amazing adaptations, fishing cats are listed as endangered, with only an estimated 3,000 left in the wild. Their greatest threats are habitat loss and conflict with encroaching humans. Since they share habitat with other endangered species, dwindling fishing cat areas also affects the available living space for a variety of other species including tigers, orangutans and the Asian elephant. Through education and global collaboration we can save this species from extinction.
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