Ashwin Naidu is a person you meet once and never forget – especially if you get him talking about cats – including his knowledge of cat scat! He is Co-Founder and Director of Fishing Cat Conservancy and his area of work focuses on applying interdisciplinary approaches for the conservation and management of endangered species and their habitats. Ashwin will join us to share how they go about fulfilling their mission to promote the long-term survival of fishing cats in the wild through public education, capacity-building, and community-based research and conservation.  A majority of their work’s focus is on areas outside protected areas where conflicts and the potential for conservation are higher than inside already established protected areas and I am eager to learn more about that. But my first question will, of course be – what is a fishing cat?  This show made possible due to the generous support of Tank’s Green Stuff.



  • Naidu’s path to being a conservationist is colorful, personal and poop is a part of it! Listen to this podcast to get the scoop.
  • Living in wetlands and mangrove forests, fishing cats are probably more endangered than tigers. Fishing cats love water and fish and their habitats are complex ecosystems.
  • Preserving the cat’s habitat is essential to their survival – mangroves protect coastlines against tsunamis and store more than five times the carbon of tropical forests. Protecting one acre of mangrove forest is equivalent to protecting 5 or more acres of tropical forests!
  • Naidu shares about his experience of learning about and meeting Appa Rao, the Mangrove Man – what did Kallen teach Dr. Naidu? What was the awakening? Learn more on this podcast!
  • Why is aquaculture farming not sustainable? And how are these lands related to mangrove forests? Insights shared during this podcast!
  • A former fishing cat poacher is now working with the Fishing Cat Conservancy – what does capacity building look like and how important is a knowledge hub to reach common goals?
  • The Fishing Cat Conservacy is shifting mindsets and cultures – conserving not only the fishing cat but the livelihoods of many people for the years to come. These changes can shift the fate of the planet.
  • The bold mission of Fishing Cat Conservancy: protect 1,000 fishing cats, restore 100,000 acres of mangrove forests and wetlands and educate/involve 1 million people within 10 years. They are changing the world.