India plans to introduce 50 cheetahs in next 5 years

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India plans to introduce 50 cheetahs in next 5 years

Recently, the 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has been held. In this meeting, ‘Action Plan for Rehabilitation of Cheetahs in India’ has been started. Under this scheme, 50 cheetahs will be rehabilitated in India in the next 5 years.

The cheetah conservation program should be conducted under the mandate of NTCA and as a part of Project Tiger scheme funded by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

Asiatic cheetah is the only large carnivore, which became extinct in India in the year 1952. Over-hunting and habitat loss are the reasons for its extinction.

About 8-12 African cheetahs from South Africa, Namibia and Botswana will be brought to Kuno-palpur National Park (IKNP) in Madhya Pradesh.

African cheetahs (UCN status: Vulnerable) are being rehabilitated because Asiatic cheetahs (IUCN: Critically Endangered) are few in number. Asiatic cheetahs are now found only in Iran.

Potential benefits:

  • Enhance the livelihood of the local community through eco-tourism possibilities.
  • The cheetah is an apex predator species at the highest level of the food chain. Rehabilitating it can help improve its habitat or even an ecosystem.
  • The project offers the possibility of co-existence of the four big cat species of India (wagh, lion, leopard and cheetah) as before.

Other findings of the 19th meeting of NCTA

  • A water atlas has been released. It maps all the water bodies located in tiger populated areas of India.
  • More than 35 rivers originate from these areas, which are important for water security.
  • 14 Tiger Reserve Conservation Assured Recognized under Tiger Standards (CA|TS). Apart from this, NCTA is also making efforts to get other Tiger Reserves recognized under CA|TS.
  • CA|TS is a set of criteria. It allows tiger sites to be examined to see whether their management will lead to successful tiger conservation.
  • The total number of tigers in India is 2967. This is more than 70% of the total tiger population in the world. 51 Tiger Reserves have been established in 18 states of India.

Source – The Hindu

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