Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Cheetah Will Run Again in India
It was in 1967 when Cheetah was last spotted in India. But now wildlife lovers can cheer as the animal is all set to make an entry again into the wild grasslands of the country where it will be re-introduced.
The move is being planned in order to save the grasslands and many other endangered species here.
The Wildlife Trust of India and the Wildlife Institute of India proposed in a report presented to the Ministry of Environment and Forest the reintroduction of cheetahs in India. They have identified three sites, Kuno-Palpur and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh and Shahgarh Landscape in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan where the animal can be brought and intitially it is being planned to import 18 cheetahs to the country.
The cheetahs will be brought from Middle East, where North African Cheetah are bred, Iran, Namibia and South Africa and the initial cost required for the re-introduction in each site would be almost ` 100 Crore in the next 2 to 3 years but it will be totally funded by the centre government.
Applauding the move Minister of State Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh said, "It is important to bring cheetah back to our country. This is perhaps the only mammal whose name has been derived from Sanskrit language. It comes from the word chitraku which means spots. The way tiger restores forest ecosystem, snow leopard restores mountain ecosystem, Gangetic dolphin restores waters in the rivers, the cheetah will restore grasslands of the country.”
It is believed that with the re-introduction of the Cheetah, the dire conditions of the grasslands will come into limelight thereby reviving the efforts needed to preserve the ecosystem and the endangered species like the carcal (Caracal caracal), the India wolf Canis lupus pallipes) and the three endangered species of the bustard family – the Houbara (Chlamydotis undulate macqueenii), the lesser florican (Sypheotides indica) and the most endangered of them all – the great Indian bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps).
This will also help benefit pastoralism in India where the largest livestock population in the world resides.
Cliff1066 via cc/Flickr