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Cheetah Reintroduction Project – Environment & DM

Cheetah Reintroduction Project

Environment & DM

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Introduction

  • The cheetah reintroduction project is the world’s first inter-continental cheetah translocation project.
  • Eight cheetahs are scheduled to arrive in India from Namibia on September 17 2022, and 12 more from South Africa on 18th February 2023.
  • The main goal of the cheetah programme is to  establish a viable cheetah metapopulation in India that allows the cheetah to perform its functional role as a top predator and provides space for the expansion of the cheetah within its historical range, thereby contributing to its global conservation effort.

Project Cheetah

  • Wildlife Institute of India + Wildlife Trust of India + MoEFCC will be translocating around 50 cheetahs will be introduced in various National Parks over five years from Southern Africa.
  • World’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project. 

Cheetah – Extinct

  • 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 only mammal to become extinct in India in the last 1,000 years. 
  • Bringing the Cheetah back will make India the only country with five species of big cats: tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard and cheetah.

IUCN Status

  • African Cheetah – Vulnerable 
  • Asiatic Cheetah – Critically endangered (Iran) 
  • The Asian and the African species separated between 30,000 and 60,000 years ago. 

Habitat

  • Cheetahs dwell on open plains and it is mainly a grassland species. 
  • Grassland is an essential habitat for biodiversity conservation in India, as many threatened species in India belong to this habitat. 
  • Cheetah is a flagship species; conserving cheetah will lead to the conservation of all grassland species. 

Kuno Palpur NP

  • Situated between the Aravallis and the Madhav National Park, Kuno serves as an important wildlife corridor
  • It was notified as a sanctuary in 1981 and then upgraded to a national park in 2018. 
  • Spread over 750 kilometres of pristine wilderness, it is rich in floral diversity with more than 120 species of trees. 
  • The tropical dry deciduous forest mainly consists of Anogeissus pendula (Kardhai), Senegalia catechu (Khair) Boswellia serrata (Salai) and associated flora.

Why Kuno Palpur NP

  • There is no dearth of water in Kuno and there is abundant prey. 
  • Kuno also has ample natural habitat for the cheetah in the form of grasslands, savannah, and open woodland with evergreen riverine ravines. 

  • Sheopur district, where Kuno is located, has rainfall levels, temperatures, altitude and conditions similar to that of South Africa and Namibia. 

 

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