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=> India will release cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia into the wild at Kuno Palpur in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh, possibly by the end of this year.
=> To begin with, there will be 12 cheetahs from South Africa and eight from Namibia. More would follow in subsequent years.
Cheetah reintroduction project:
=> The project to translocate cheetahs from Africa to India is being implemented by the environment ministry with the help of the Wildlife Institute of India.
=> The Supreme Court had appointed an expert panel, which approved Kuno Palpur as the possible location for cheetah relocation.
What is reintroduction and why reintroduce Cheetah now?
=> ‘Reintroduction’ of a species means releasing it in an area where it is capable of surviving.
=> Reintroductions of large carnivores have increasingly been recognised as a strategy to conserve threatened species and restore ecosystem functions.
=> The cheetah is the only large carnivore that has been extirpated, mainly by over-hunting in India in historical times.
=> India now has the economic ability to consider restoring its lost natural heritage for ethical as well as ecological reasons.
=> The cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, 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. African Cheetah is listed as vulnerable in IUCN red listed species.
=> The country’s last spotted feline died in Chhattisgarh in 1947.
=> Later, the cheetah — which is the fastest land animal — was declared extinct in India in 1952.
=> The Asiatic cheetah is classified as a “critically endangered” species by the IUCN Red List, and is believed to survive only in Iran.
Reasons for extinction:
=> The reasons for extinction can all be traced to man’s interference.
=> Problems like human-wildlife conflict, loss of habitat and loss of prey, and illegal trafficking, have decimated their numbers.
=> The advent of climate change and growing human populations have only made these problems worse.
=> With less available land for wildlife, species that require vast home range like the cheetah are placed in competition with other animals and humans, all fighting over less space.
By: ASRAF UDDIN AHMED ProfileResourcesReport error
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