Press Esc to close
Friday 31 October 2014
News updated at 11:42 AM IST
Weather
Max: 28.4°C
Min : 18°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

SC stays Cheetah Re-introduction Project

New Delhi, May 8, 2012 (PTI)

The Supreme Court today stayed the implementation of the Cheetah Reintroduction Programme by which the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had proposed to import the African large-sized feline to India.

A forest bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishan and C K Prasad restrained the government from going ahead with the Rs 300 crore project in the wake of questions being raised that a "totally misconceived" venture was pushed without consulting that National Board for Wildlife (NBW) which is a statutory body for the enforcement of the Wild Life law. .

The issue of relocating Cheetah from Namibia was raised during the hearing of the matter on reintroduction of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat's Gir National Park and Sanctuary and surrounding areas to Palpur Kuno Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh pursuant to a decision taken by the NBW.


During its hearings, the bench was informed that MoEF has decided to introduce African Cheetahs from Namibia into the same proposed habitat prompting senior advocate P S Narasimha, the amicus curiae in the case, to file an application seeking a stay on the implementation of the same.

Narasimha said the proposal for reintroduction of Cheetah "has not been either placed before the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife, nor has there been a considered decision taken in this regard".

He stated in an application that "scientific studies show that the African Cheetahs and Asian
Cheetahs are completely different, both genetically and also in their characteristics" and the reintroduction of Cheetah was also against the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines on translocation of wildlife species.

"In fact, the (IUCN) guidelines categorically warn against the introduction of alien or exotic species. The African Cheetah obviously never existed in India. Therefore, it is not case of intentional movement of an organism into a part of its native range," the application stated.

Asiatic Cheetah became extinct in the country in the 1950's. In July 2010, the Environment Ministry had cleared the proposal to reintroduce African Cheetah to India.

The Centre had recently sanctioned first tranche of Rs 1.9 crore to Madhya Pradesh for preparation of the habitat for for the animal at Palpur-Kuna sanctuary in Sheopur district.
Narasimha pointed out that Prerna Bindra, a Member of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife has "categorically opposed the Cheetah project, on rational and logical consideration".

"She has pointed out that Rs 300 crores have been allocated for the Cheetah project and the cost of each cheetah is going to be Rs two crore whereas the total budget for Project Tiger is a mere Rs 80 crore for 600 national parks and sanctuaries," it said.

He added that the Director General Forests/Special Secretary, MoEF P J Dilip Kumar had a given "strong note" against introduction of African Cheetah into India but it was ignored and not even mentioned in any of the proceedings dealing with this project.

It said that the introduction of alien or exotic species is universally shunned by wildlife experts and "in fact countries such as South Africa, Australia are spending huge amount of funds to eradicate and remove exotic wildlife species from wilderness areas or wild
habitats".

Narasimha also sought a direction the MoEF to produce before the apex court all relevant records and decisions relating to introduction of cheetah.

He said the Indian Cheetah in genetic composition is a different animal than the African Cheetah and a different sub species altogether and "therefore one cannot be introduced in place of the other".

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Security personnel patrol a street after a protest by the supporters of Jammu and Kashmir...

Security personnel patrol a street after a protest by the supporters of Jammu and Kashmir...

India A players Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey during a practice match against Sri Lanka...

India A players Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey during a practice match against Sri Lanka...

Indian Air Force officers arrive at the Gateway of India after swimming for a distance...

Indian Air Force officers arrive at the Gateway of India after swimming for a distance...

The Navy hovercraft carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Sagar Island...

The Navy hovercraft carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Sagar Island...

A Rajasthani herder with his cows in Gurgaon...

A Rajasthani herder with his cows in Gurgaon...

Devotees wait for the Sun to offer prayers, during Chhath Puja festival in Agra...

Devotees wait for the Sun to offer prayers, during Chhath Puja festival in Agra...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on Black Money with a message...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on Black Money with a message...

BJP workers arrange the cut-outs of party symbol (lotus) to decorate the boats at the Marine...

BJP workers arrange the cut-outs of party symbol (lotus) to decorate the boats at the Marine...

A police man investigates the tunnel dug up by the robbers in Gohana bank heist, in Sonipat...

A police man investigates the tunnel dug up by the robbers in Gohana bank heist, in Sonipat...

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan sweeps in a stree during a cleanliness drive as a part...

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan sweeps in a stree during a cleanliness drive as a part...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523