Animal Conservation

What led to the extinction of the cheetah in India and how Modi’s government plans to reintroduce it

New Delhi: The cheetah that went extinct in independent India is about to return, Bhupender Yadav, Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, announced Wednesday.
the minister tweeted that an action plan for the reintroduction of cheetahs in India has been launched at the 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

Over the next five years, 50 cheetahs will be reintroduced to India, Yadav said in a statement released by the Union’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change.

How the cheetah became extinct in India

India has not lost a large species of mammal in historical times except one – the cheetah. The animal is charismatic and has a very special significance for the ethics and ethics of national conservation. Word, ‘Cheetah’, comes from Sanskrit, which means “the speckled”, and Neolithic cave paintings in India were found at portray the animal.
The animal was found across the country, except high mountains, coasts and the northeast region, according to different accounts.
The large-scale capture of animals from the wild for running, bounty and sport hunting, and extensive habitat conservation as well as the consequent decline of the prey base have been the main reasons for the decline of the cheetah in India, the Governments action plan Remarks.
The number of cheetahs in India had declined dramatically by 1900.
During the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir in the 16th century, the world’s first cheetah was bred in captivity in India. During Akbar’s reign, there were as many as 10,000 cheetahs. Of these, 1,000 were in his yard.
In the 20th century, cheetahs were imported for sport. Between 1799 and 1968, there were at least 230 cheetahs, according to research.
The last cheetahs in the wild were recorded in 1948 when three two were felled in the forests of Sal (Shorea robusta) of the district of Koriya (Nowadays VShhattisgarh), and some sporadic reports from the Central and Deccan regions up to the environment1970s.
Simultaneously, India had entered into negotiations with the Shah of Iran in the 1970s. at to bring the Asian cheetah in India in exchange for Asian lions.
In 2009, it was decided that the African cheetah would be used for introduction into India.
In 1952, the first independent India wildlife board meeting was requested to assign special priority to the protection of cheetah in vsCentral India.
After the enactment of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 and the establishment of a network of protected areas over the past five decades, the root cause of the cheetah’s extinction in India has been properly addressed, says the action plan.

Where are cheetahs currently found in the world?

It is estimated that only 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild, according to Wildlifeday.org. They are mainly found in the eastern and southern ranges of Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. Small populations are also found in North Africa and Iran. In 2015, more than 3,500 cheetahs lived in Namibia.

How does the government plan to reintroduce the cheetah to India?

In September 2009, a consultative meeting of global experts was held in Gajner, Rajasthan, where the reintroduction of cheetahs was discussed. At the meeting, a consensus was reached at conduct a detailed survey at selected sites to explore the potential for reintroduction of cheetahs.
According to the Action Plan for the Introduction of the Cheetah to India. In addition, the KNP is devoid of any human establishment.
Based on 2010 surveys as well as recent evaluations, other recommended sites for cheetah reintroduction to India are Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh, Shahgarh Bulge in Rajasthan and the Mukundara Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan. These sites are recommended for breeding and keeping cheetahs in the wild.

According to the action plan, a total of 10 cheetahs will come from India from South Africa or Namibia and will be fitted with satellite telemetry collars.

The first group of cheetahs will need to settle in the reserve and will need to learn how to find the appropriate prey to hunt or kill, and begin to breed.

Initially, around three to four male cheetahs will be imported into India. This will allow the males to know the area and to hunt more successfully. Males are expected to be four to five years old, as they are said to be dominant and seek to hold territory, the action plan says.

About six female cheetahs will be part of the initial group of cheetahs to be introduced to India. Females must be over 2.5 years old.

The cheetahs will be airlifted to India and trucked from the airport to Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary.

They will be anesthetized before transport, and radio collars will be placed on them so that when released in India, they will have them already attached in the event of an escape or long-distance travel.

The animals will be fed on natural prey during their stay in the enclosure.