Reintroduction of Cheetah
- Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change launched the Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India under which 50 Cheetah will be introduced in the next five years.
- The cheetah is the only large carnivore to have gone extinct in India in the 1950s due to hunting and loss of habitat.
- This action plan was launched at the 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
- National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
- In 2021, the Supreme Court lifted its seven-year-long stay on a proposal to introduce African Cheetahs from Namibia into the Indian habitat.
- Reintroduction of a species means releasing it in an area where it is capable of surviving.
- Reintroductions has been recognised as a strategy to conserve threatened species and restore ecosystem functions.
- The conservation of the cheetah will revive grasslands and their biomes and habitat
Reintroduction Action Plan:
- With the help of the Wildlife Institute of India and the Wildlife Trust of India, the ministry will translocate around 8-12 cheetahs from South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
- Kuno Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh has been chosen for reintroduction due to its suitable habitat and adequate prey base.
- 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.
- It is also the world’s fastest land mammal that lives in Africa and Asia.
- Smaller and paler than the African cheetah.
- They have more fur, a smaller head and a longer neck.
- Usually have red eyes and they have a more cat-like appearance.
- IUCN status - Critically Endangered
- CITES list of endangered species: Appendix I
- Bigger in size as compared to Asiatic Cheetah.
- IUCN status: Vulnerable
- CITES list of endangered species: Appendix I"