Cheetah, the world's fastest wildcat, is all set to return to India's forests next month, i.e. August 2022. Once a pride of the Indian forests, these animals went extinct almost seven decades ago. It was declared extinct in 1952.
This has become possible after an agreement was signed between India and Namibia, according to which eight cheetahs will be transferred from Namibia to India’s Kuno-Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh for captive breeding.
Wildlife experts say that around 10,000 Asiatic cheetahs used to grace the jungles of India back in the 16th century.
It may be mentioned here that cheetahs come under the vulnerable species category and there are only 7000 cheetahs left in the world.
In the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list, these wildcats fall under the threatened species category.
"Completing 75 glorious years of Independence with restoring the fastest terrestrial flagship species, the cheetah, in India, will rekindle the ecological dynamics of the landscape. Cheetah reintroduction in India has a larger goal of re-establishing ecological function in Indian grasslands that was lost due to the extinction of Asiatic cheetah. This is in conformity with IUCN guidelines on conservation translocations," tweeted union environment minister Bhupender Yadav.
Cheetah as a flagship specie will lead to greater focus on the status of dry-open forest/savanna ecosystems and the need to restore and manage them. Cheetah reintroduction would also greatly enhance local community livelihoods through eco-tourism prospects in the long term.
— Bhupender Yadav (@byadavbjp) July 20, 2022
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