Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reintroducing the Asiatic Cheetah back into India

As we all know, the Indian (Asiatic) Cheetah became extinct from the grasslands of India way back in the 1950's , as far as I know. Now, here's a piece of great News. There are plans to re-introduce the Asiatic Cheetah.

Source: ""


The Mogul emperor Akbar was said to own a thousand of the beasts as part of his 16th-century hunting retinue. Since then, however, India’s cheetahs have turned from hunter to quarry — the last three known were shot by the Maharajah of Surguja in 1947.

That may now change, with plans revealed by the Indian Government to reintroduce the world’s fastest land animal to the sub-continent.

A meeting of international experts is to be held in Rajasthan in September. It will draw up a preliminary budget, likely to be millions of pounds, to cover the import of cheetahs from Africa and the foundation of a “breeding nucleus” site, from which the animals can be introduced to other areas of India.

“We have to get [cheetahs] from abroad to repopulate the species. We soon hope to do so,” said Jairam Ramesh, the Minister of State for Environment and Forests."

Debajyoti Dutta Roy's personal take :

This is an excellent move. Hats off to Jairam Ramesh.

But all wildlife and environmental enthusiasts have to keep many parameters in mind:

  • The cheetah flourishes in uninhabited grasslands. So, one has to choose a locale where there is minimum human population.
  • One has to study the FOOD PYRAMID. If the base, that is, the grasslands are abundant, one can introduce deers to sambars to the cheetah's natural prey.
  • So, the natural prey of the Asiatic Cheetah flourishes.
  • The cheetah has a great time. But one has to be also careful that it is not threatened by other predators bigger than it is. Or pack predators like the hyena or indian wild dogs .."dholes" they're called, as far as I remember.
  • One has to study the habitat where the Asiatic Lion is still surviving. These are, as far as I remember, from an excellent site felidtag (Cat Specialist Group) - Iran, parts of Saudi Arabia, etc. Congrats to these countries for still preserving the Asiatic Cheetah.
Hope the program succeeds.

One can also have active monitoring / audiovisuals to generate interest amongst the common people.

Without disturbing the Cheetah, that is.


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