Introduction of Cheetah in India
Part of: Prelims and GS-III Environment
Context: Government of India is in the process of holding consultation meeting with African countries for bringing Cheetah.
- Rs. 38.70 crore under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger has been allocated to the cheetah introduction project for the years 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- About 12-14 wild cheetahs (8-10 males and 4-6 females) that are ideal for establishing a new cheetah population would be imported as required from South Africa/Namibia/Other African Countries, as a founder stock for five years initially and then as may be required by the action plan.
- 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.
- The cheetah is also the world’s fastest land mammal that lives in Africa and Asia.
- Cheetah is the only large carnivore to have become extinct in Independent India.
- Cheetah has been an integral part of Indian ecosystems, a major evolutionary force, and an important cultural heritage.
- Their restoration will likely result in better conservation of open forest, grassland, and scrub ecosystems for which they will serve as a flagship species.
- IUCN status:
- African Cheetah: Vulnerable
- Asiatic Cheetah: Critically Endangered.
News Source: PIB