All You Need to Know About Reintroduction of Cheetah in India

Reintroduction of Cheetah in India

Today we will discuss Reintroduction of Cheetah in India in our daily edition of Current Affairs. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus

For Prelims: Cheetah, IUCN Status, Kuno National Park, Translocation.

For Mains: Environmental conservation, Translocation of animals, African Cheetah, Environmental degradation.

Probable Question

Assess the extent of extinction of  fauna and flora in the Indian sub-continent. Suggest measures to prevent future extinction and conservation.

Context

 The first ever transcontinental mission to introduce African cheetahs in the wild is on the way with Cheetah being transferred via airplane from Windhoek, Namibia, to Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh.

About Cheetah

  • The very name ‘Cheetah’ (Acinonyx Jubatus Venaticus) originates from Sanskrit and means ‘the spotted one’.
  • IUCN Status
    • African Cheetah is Vulnerable (6000 to 7000 population in Africa).
    • Asiatic Cheetah is Critically Endangered (40 to 50 only found in Iran).

Background

  • The cheetah is the only large carnivore to have gone extinct in India, primarily due to hunting and habitat loss.
  • In 1952, the Indian government officially declared the Cheetah extinct in the country.
  • For centuries, hunting was a favoured activity for royalty in India. The cheetah, which was relatively easy to tame and less dangerous than tigers, was frequently used by Indian nobility for sport-hunting.
  • The earliest available record comes from the Sanskrit text Manasollasa, which was produced by the Kalyani Chalukya ruler, Someshvara III (reigned from 1127-1138 CE).
  • It had become a highly specialized activity in the medieval period.

Read yesterday’s edition of Current Affairs on Supreme Court’s three-question test for 10% EWS quota validity, in case you missed reading it.

Kuno National Park
  • It is situated in Madhya Pradesh, India.
  • The Kuno Sanctuary area is devoid of human settlements due to the rehabilitation program undertaken by the Forest Department of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Kuno site offers a unique opportunity where the entire large felid community of India could potentially be reestablished by having tigers, lions, leopards, and cheetah within the same landscape.
  • It has good prey densities and can support around 25 cheetahs.

Translocation Provides the Following Risks

  • Genetic diversity: It is often difficult to find genetically suitable animals and can lead to inbreeding depression in the new population.
  • Habitat and prey base: Physical security, enough space, and ample food need to be available.
  • Landscape viability: Even if assisted exchanges succeed in ensuring genetic viability, animals will remain susceptible to demographic and environmental events in a broken landscape.
  • Curbing the cats’ homing instincts.

Also Read: Bring Back the Cheetah

News source –  https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/what-takes-successfully-move-big-cats-cheetahs-natural-habitats-8153494/

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