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Cheetah Relocation in India

  • 01 Jun 2022
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

India will be soon releasing cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia into the wild at Kuno Palpur in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh.

  • It will initiate India’s ambitious plan of transcontinental relocation of cheetahs.
  • The country’s last spotted cheetah died in Chhattisgarh in 1947 and it was declared extinct in the country in 1952.
  • The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) some years back prepared a cheetah reintroduction project.

What are the Key Points Related to Cheetahs?

  • About:
    • The cheetah is one of the oldest of the big cat species, with ancestors that can be traced back more than five million years to the Miocene era.
    • The cheetah is also the world’s fastest land mammal that lives in Africa and Asia.
  • African Cheetah: 
    • Scientific Name: Acinonyx Jubatus
    • Characteristics: They have slightly brownish and golden skin which is thicker than the Asiatic Cheetahs.
      • They have much more prominent spots and lines on their face as compared to their Asian cousins.
    • Distribution: Found all over the African continent in thousands of numbers.
    • Protection:
      • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
      • CITES: Appendix 1.
      • WPA: Schedule-2.
  • Asiatic Cheetah: 
    • Scientific Name: Acinonyx Jubatus Venaticus
    • Characteristic: Slightly smaller than the African Cheetahs.
      • They have pale yellowish fawn coloured skin with more fur under their body, specifically on the belly.Inserting image...
    • Distribution: Found only in Iran with less than 100 individuals left.
    • Protection:
      • IUCN Red List: critically endangered.
      • CITES: Appendix 1.
      • WPA: Schedule-2.

What are the Threats?

  • Human-wildlife conflict, loss of habitat and loss of prey, and illegal trafficking.
  • Deforestation and agriculture eventually led to less forest land and Cheetah habitat.
  • The advent of climate change and growing human populations have only made these problems worse.

What are the Indian Conservation Efforts?

  • The Wildlife Institute of India had prepared a Rs 260-crore cheetah Re-introduction project seven years ago.
  • This could be the world’s first inter-continental cheetah translocation project.
  • The Ministry of Environment had in the 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) released an “Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India”.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has decided to bring 50 African Cheetah from Namibia within the next 5 years.

What are the Key Points of Kuno National Park?

  • Kuno National Park of Madhya Pradesh is one the most unique destinations for all wildlife lovers and enthusiasts.
  • It has a healthy population of chital, sambar, nilgai, wild pig, chinkara and cattle.
  • Currently, the leopard and striped hyena are the only larger carnivores within the National Park, with the lone tiger having returned to Ranthambore earlier this year.

Source: IE

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