Picture Source: Authors
‘Cheetah’ is a popular portrayal in the folklores across India and adjoining countries since time immemorial. The mammal with their unique physical attributes like long and slender limbs, flexible spine helps them attain high speeds in pursuit of prey. Unfortunately, famously regarded as the “fastest” amongst mammals are immensingly becoming part of reports, records than their habitats. Finally ‘Cheetah’ got the distinction of being declared as ‘extinct’ in the year 1952 in India.
Presence of such large carnivores in natural habitats vis. a vis. their importance in ecosystem functions called for concerted efforts worldwide. In this context, reintroduction of ‘Cheetah’ has been recognised as a strategy for conservation. Cheetah is the only large carnivore that has been extirpated, mainly by overhunting in India in historical times (Ranjitsinh and Jhala, 2010)
Reintroduction of Cheetah in India, a Historic Step:-
The project for reintroduction of the large carnivores will help them to take giant steps in the natural habitats. The action plan of Government of India focuses on bringing back country’s extinct large mammal under which, 50 Cheetah will be introduced into various National Parks once a period of 5 years. The historical events began on 17.09.2022 when first group of 8 Cheetah (5 females and 3 males) brought from Namibia, where released into Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh. The inter-continental transfer of such huge animals will surely usher in a new chapter in animal conservation for restoring ecosystem services.
Efforts, such as in the present and future planned endeavours will go in the annals of history of Environment Conservation as a significant stride of Government of India.
In this context, an awareness program was organised on 15.09.2022 by Parbati-II Hydroelectric Project, NHPC for students at Government Middle School, Jhiri, Himachal Pradesh. The photographic glimpses of the awareness program are depicted as follows:
- Ranjitsinh, M.K. & Jhala, Y.V. (2010), Assessing the Potential for reintroducing the Cheetah in India, Wildlife Trust of India & Wildlife Institute of India.
– Dr. Ashis Kumar Dash, GM (Environment)
-Pratap Kumar Mallik, GSM (Environment)
-Dr. Anuradha Bajpayee, GSM (Environment)
-Manish Kumar, DM (Fisheries)