The animal will return into a wild enclosure in India 69 years after the last recorded surviving cheetah in India was hunted down in Chhattisgarh in 1952
India and Namibia on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to reintroduce cheetahs in the country after nearly seven decades, with the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh likely to receive the first tranche of the world’s fastest animal by August 15.
India is expected to get 12 cheetahs from South Africa, for which a draft agreement has already been signed, with a final one expected soon, officials said.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) secretary SP Yadav said they are trying to get the cheetahs by August 15 to mark the country’s 75th Independence Day.
“We are trying to get [the first batch of] cheetahs by August 15, but we have to make all arrangements before that and discuss all the modalities to fix the exact date of arrival,” an NTCA official said.
As per the agreement with Namibia, India will get eight cheetahs in two batches of four. The first batch is expected from a non-government organisation in South Africa, officials said.
“Around eight cheetahs may be brought by August,” a senior environment ministry official said.
Kuno, home to Asian cheetahs over 100 years ago, is preparing for the translocation of the African cheetah.
“We have completed all the basic preparation and also completed the work as recommended by the teams of South Africa and Namibia. Now, we are shifting prey base inside the fencing,” Madhya Pradesh chief wildlife warden JS Chauhan said.
The animal will return into a wild enclosure in India 69 years after the last recorded surviving cheetah in India was hunted down in Chhattisgarh in 1952. Under the Cheetah Translocation Project (CTP), the Union environment ministry aims to breed the animals in an enclosure in Kuno before releasing them into the wild.
Kuno was selected as the habitat for the introduction of the African cheetah by a Supreme Court-mandated expert committee in January 2021, constituted to implement the CTP. The panel surveyed 10 sites between 2010 and 2012.
The national park in Madhya Pradesh was considered because a lot of investment was already made in this protected area to reintroduce Asiatic lions. The state forest department has a highly secured semi-captive cage spread over 500 hectares, divided into nine parts.
The agreement between India and Namibia will be effective for an initial period of five years from the date of the last signature. Thereafter, it will be automatically renewed for successive 5-year periods, unless either party terminates the agreement by giving six months’ written notice to the other.
Areas of cooperation include biodiversity conservation, with specific focus on conservation and restoration of cheetahs in their former range areas from which they went extinct in India; sharing and exchange of expertise and capacities aimed at promoting cheetah conservation in two countries; wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilisation by sharing good practices in technological applications; mechanisms of livelihood generation for local communities living in wildlife habitats, and sustainable management of biodiversity.
The MoU also states that both countries will support advances in these spheres at international forums, including meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna.
India and Namibia will collaborate in areas of climate change, environmental governance, environmental impact assessments, pollution and waste management, and other areas of mutual interest, and exchange of personnel for training and education in wildlife management, including sharing of technical expertise, wherever relevant.
The Indian side will also train and support Namibian personnel in smart patrol, population estimation techniques and facilitate required equipment for surveillance and monitoring. India will also provide support to Namibia with two reserved seats in the 10-month post graduate diploma course in wildlife management conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
The main goal of the cheetah reintroduction project in India is to establish viable metapopulation of the animal in the country, allowing it to perform its functional role as a top predator, and providing space for the expansion of the cheetah within its historical range, thereby contributing to its global conservation efforts, a statement by the environment ministry said on Wednesday.
Locations of the cheetah’s presence from southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe) were used, along with relevant eco-climatic covariates, to model equivalent niche space in India using maximum entropy models.
The current carrying capacity of the Kuno National Park is a maximum of 21 cheetahs. The capacity can be enhanced by including the remaining part of the Kuno Wildlife Division (1,280 sq km) through prey restoration, the ministry said.
Source Link: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-signs-mou-with-namibia-for-reintroduction-of-cheetahs-after-7-decades-101658310608097.html
Great News ..
Хорошо в краю родном 🤔
Sarah Amara Ngozi
Sarah Amara Ngozi