Tiasa Adhya and Partha Dey
Tiasa Adhya is the co-founded The Fishing Cat Project, the longest running research and conservation project on the Fishing Cats) along with her partner, Partha Dey. She was recently awarded two national awards including a presidential award for her commitment to conservation. A veteran conservation practitioner, Partha Dey has more than two decades in the field in which he spearheaded the conservation of lesser known non pantherine Felids like the clouded leopard, jungle cat and fishing cat.
Tiasa and Partha have conducted research in human dominated landscapes on Fishing Cat since 2010 implementing science based conservation, coercing with government, non-government and citizens/community members to initiate and mainstream conservation movements. Although Fishing Cat populations outside protected areas determine genetic connectivity, their persistence is threatened due to land-use intensification and habitat destruction as marshlands are considered as ‘wastelands’.
The team believes in conservation becoming a societal decision, and their other endeavor is to engage with people from different sections of society and design innovative conservation approaches. While the research has helped litigation cases to safeguard marshlands, it has generated Fishing Cat friendly farming practices and government policies in rural West Bengal. The project successfully integrated Fishing Cat conservation into the three tier panchayati administration in Howrah district, West Bengal. 18 villages from the area submitted a proposal to the State Biodiversity Board for recognition as a Biodiversity Heritage Site (Indian Biological Diversity Act, 2002) in 2016. Rural district councils formed local Fishing Cat Protection Committees for grassroots intervention and prevention of hunting/killing. Whether it is for the team’s engagement with lawyers to preserve marshland tracts or for their efforts in strengthening community participation in marshland and Fishing Cat conservation, Tiasa and Partha deserve all the support they can get. They are also one of the main contributors for the global Fishing Cat conservation strategy published in 2016.
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- Date March 10, 2010
- Tags Fishing Cat