MP seeks revival of cheetah reintroduction project

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Context:

  • The Madhya Pradesh forest department has written to the National Tiger Conservation Authority to revive the plan to reintroduce cheetahs in the State’s Nauradehi sanctuary. The ambitious project, conceived in 2009, had hit a roadblock for want of funds.

Extinct in India in 1952:

  • The country’s last spotted feline died in Chhattisgarh in 1947. Later, the cheetah — which is the fastest land animal — was declared extinct in India in 1952.
  • Nauradehi was found to be the most suitable area for the cheetahs as its forests are not very dense to restrict the fast movement of the spotted cat.
  • The country’s last spotted cheetah died in Chhattisgarh in 1947.

Other details:

  • According to the earlier action plan, around 20 cheetahs were to be translocated to Nauradehi from Namibia in Africa. The Namibia Cheetah Conservation Fund had then showed its willingness to donate the felines to India.
  • The M.P. forest department would need finances from the Centre for the project adding that the NTCA, a statutory body under the Union Environment Ministry, had committed ₹50 crore to the State for it in 2011.
  • The Wildlife Institute of India at Dehradun had prepared a ₹260-crore cheetah re-introduction project six years ago, wildlife activist Ajay Dubey said. It was estimated that an amount of ₹25 crore to ₹30 crore would be needed to build an enclosure in an area of 150 sq km for the cheetahs in Nauradehi, he said. The proposal was to put the felines in the enclosure with huge boundary walls before being released in the wild.

Source:TH