March 22, 2023

India is all set to get cheetah back in its jungles, 50 to arrive in next 5 years | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The cheetah that became extinct in independent India is all set to return, said environment minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday when his ministry preparing to translocate the first batch of eight from South Africa and Namibia to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh soon after the situation linked to the current third wave of Covid-19 becomes normal, and total 50 in various parks over a period of five years.
Yadav while unveiling an action plan for reintroduction of cheetah in the country at the 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) noted that the plan was to reintroduce cheetah in 2021, but the Covid-19’s second wave delayed it.

India has plans to reintroduce cheetahs at the Kuno National Park in Sheopur and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior-Chambal region, 70 years after the animal was officially declared extinct in India, in what could be the world’s first inter-continental cheetah translocation project. The country will get 12 to 15 cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia by the end of this year.
The minister during the NTCA meeting also released a Water Atlas, mapping all the water bodies in the tiger bearing areas of India. Landscape wise information has been outlined in this Atlas which include, the Shivalik Hills and Gangetic plain landscape, Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats landscape, North Eastern Hills and Brahmaputra flood plains and Sundarbans.
Noting that tiger continues to be an endangered species and the situation calls for active management, Yadav said it was imperative to have a reliable estimate of tiger number at Tiger Reserve & Landscape Level for effective management of tiger population.
Currently, 5th cycle of All India Tiger Estimation is underway where the enumerators have been using advanced techniques including camera trapping in all reserves and protected areas to arrive at more accurate estimation. Experts, NGOs and forest dwellers are also being involved at different stages of the ongoing enumeration exercise.
The minister said the country has 51 Tiger Reserves and efforts are being made to bring more areas under the Tiger Reserve network. He said that the tiger reserves are not just for tigers, noting that more than 35 rivers originate from these areas which are crucial for water security.
As part of effective regulation of tourism activity in the Tiger Reserves, Yadav said that there should be one core area which should be sacrosanct (strictly no go zone). Tiger conservation efforts in the Indian context have the community at its center, hence continuous efforts are being made for involvement of local communities in protection and eco-tourism activities, he added.

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