After 70 Years of Extinction, PM Modi Imported Cheetahs to India. Most of us are already aware of the “Project Cheetah” introduced in India. In the transfer of cheetahs inside quarantine cages within Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, requested calm from the people before viewing cheetahs in a speech to the country. Although India proclaimed that cheetah in India extinct in 1952, PM Modi said, it is regrettable that no proactive steps were taken to restore them for many years.
On Saturday, September 17, which was also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, eight cheetahs arrived in Gwalior from Namibia’s capital Windhoek at about 8 a.m. He described those cheetahs as “India’s guests” and pledged that India would strive to care for them in accordance with international standards. He expressed gratitude to the Namibian government for their support of the endeavour.
The prime minister advised them to refrain from allowing anyone within the KNP, not even himself, there until the cheetahs had got used to the new surroundings. The PM recounted how, while Gujarat’s chief minister, he had recruited locals to guard Asiatic lions around Gir.
On such a special aircraft across Namibia to India, 8 cheetahs landed early Saturday morning. PM Modi released 3 of them into the KNP, while the remaining five were reintroduced by other officials as part of an organization’s competitive. In India, cheetahs had vanished seventy years prior.
Why are cheetahs imported to India from Africa?
The government claims that “Project Cheetah” is indeed the world’s first international large wild carnivore transfer project. It involves reintroducing cheetahs to India.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), is in charge of overseeing the cheetah’s re-emergence in India in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directives from 2020. The NTCA is accompanied and directed by a group of experts appointed by the Supreme Court.
The government claims that cheetahs would aid in the restoration of open forest as well as grassland ecosystems in India, which will improve society in general by preserving biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water security, and soil moisture conservation.
The Wildlife Trust of India started conversations in 2009 about reintroducing cheetahs to India. At a meeting with experts from all over the world, public officials from across India, along with the Ministry of Forests, Environment, and Climate Change, and officials from the state governments, it was decided to study prospective reintroduction sites.
Causes of the extinction of cheetah in India
Following India’s independence from Britain in 1947, only one significant wild animal species has disappeared from India, despite the country’s enormous and continuing demographic pressure. And except for the cheetah, as per India history, India has not lost each and every large mammalian species, in accordance with the government’s Action Plan for something like the Introduction of Cheetah in India report. The Javan and Sumatran rhinoceroses, which had isolated occurrences in the country’s extreme east, have been ruled out.
Additionally, it was noted that such historical cheetah in India covered the entirety of the nation, except the mountain ranges, the coasts, and the northeastern region.
According to the report, widespread abduction of animals from the wild for bounty, coursing, and sport hunting; substantial habitat change; and a resulting loss in prey base were really the main causes of the extinction of cheetah in India.
Three cheetahs were killed in the Sal (Shorea robusta) forests of Koriya district, Chhattisgarh state, in 1948, and there were no more known wild cheetahs until the middle of the 1970s, when intermittent reports from the Deccan as well as central regions began to surface.
Divyabhanusinh, a wildlife expert, claims that the Maharajah of the state of Koriya killed the final three cheetahs to be spotted in India in 1947.
How about the cheetahs kept in Indian zoos?
Cheetahs can currently be found at three zoos: Jamnagar in Gujarat; Mysuru in the state of Karnataka; and Hyderabad in Karnataka.
According to the authorities, cheetahs are the huge carnivores that have the least interaction with human interests because they pose no harm to people and often do not target large cattle.
It claimed that reintroducing an apex predator would “restore historic ecological balance, with cascading impacts on all levels of such an ecosystem.” It was said that the top-down influence of just one large predator that enriches and sustains the diversity at lower trophic levels of such ecosystems has led to improved management and restoration of wildlife habitats. Furthermore, it also advocated conservation of cheetah’s prey as well as sympatric endangered species.
It said, “The major objective of reintroduction effort of the cheetah in India is to create a stable the meta population of cheetah in India which enables the cheetah to carry out its vital function as a top predator and gives space therefore for the cheetah to expand inside its historical range.”