Govt in talks with SA for translocation of Cheetah

Govt in talks with SA for translocation of Cheetah

"We are in talks with South Africa for translocation of cheetah and I would visit that country on April 25-26 to disuss the authorities there on how to reintroduce the animal," Ramesh told reporters here. He said that the Willdife Institute of India (WII), which had been asked to do a feasibility study for the exercise, would submit its report by May this year.

WII has already identified 11 possible habitats in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand where cheetahs can be re-populated in the next 30 years. "Self-sustainable population should be our main aim. Desert National Park and Talchappar in Rajasthan, Bhal, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary and Banni Sanctuary in Gujarat, Kuno and Nauradhi in Madhya Pradesh can be considered.

"But efforts need to be made to relocate people (in these areas) and ensure healthy prey-base before the spotted cats can be released in the national parks," a senior WII scientist said. The step has come in the wake of demands from a section of NGOs such as the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to translocate in India the fastest animal on earth in a bid to repopulate cheetahs which were last seen in the country in the 1960s.

The idea gathered momentum following a workshop organised last year in Rajasthan which was attended by cheetah experts from Iran, South Africa, WII and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) besides WTI which had conceived the animal relocation plan. Unlike their Asiatic cousins, African cheetahs stalk prey in semi-arid and partially forested grasslands. According to WTI, which has prepared a roadmap for the introduction of the animals, "suitable habitats are abundant in India but are being managed terribly. The cheetah could be an important symbol, a lever to help protect even rarer species in the same areas."

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry