New Delhi, January 5, (PTI), The cheetah, which was extinct in 1952 and is now all set to make a comeback in India, has been declared by the central government. On Wednesday, the plan was launched under which 50 of the big cats will be brought back to India over the next five-years.
Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yodav presented the action plan at 19th National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), stating, The Cheetah which went extinct in independent India is all set to return. According to an NTCA official, the COVID-19 had put off the reintroduction of the cheetah.
According to the action plan, a group of approximately 10-12 young cheetahs suitable for reintroduction will be imported from Namibia or South Africa during the first year.
An existing wild male-wild female alliance shall be chosen. The selected females should also be known each other as much as possible.
The animals’ lineage and condition shall be checked in the host country to ensure that they are not from an excessively inbred stock and are in the ideal age group, so as to conform to the needs of a founding population, said the over 300-page action plan.
Kuno Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh, one of the 10 sites surveyed in five central Indian States was rated high in the priority list for the introduction of the cheetah due to its habitat and prey base. According to the plan, the central government along with the Cheetah Task Force and the Ministry of External Affairs will create a formal framework for collaboration with South African and Namibian governments.
Cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal, was expected to be reintroduced into the country in November 2021 in Madhya Pradesh but the plan got derailed due to the pandemic, an official said.
Yadav stated that the Prime Minister is keen to protect and conserve seven big cats, including Cheetah, during his address at the meeting.
The union minister also released a Water Atlas Wednesday that maps all Indian water bodies.
The atlas provides information about the presence such bodies in many areas, including the Shivalik Hills landscape and Gangetic plain landscapes, Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats landscapes, Western Ghats landscapes, North Eastern Hills flood plains and Sundarbans, as well as the Shivalik Hills landscape and Gangetic plains.
The atlas was created using remote-sensing data as well as Geographic Information System (GIS), mapping.
The minister stated that the baseline information will be used by forest managers to plan future conservation strategies.
Yadav also stated that the tiger is still an endangered species. Yadav stated that it was crucial to have a reliable estimate at Tiger Reserve and Landscape Level of the tiger population for effective management. The minister stated that the fifth cycle of All India Tiger Estimation is underway and will assist in making informed policy decisions.
There are 51 Tiger Reserves across the country, and there are efforts to bring more areas under the Tiger Reserve network.
Minister says tiger reserves are not just for tigers. More than 35 rivers flow from these areas, which are critical for water security.
The minister stated that continuous efforts are being made to get local communities involved in protecting tigers reserves and ecotourism.
The minister stated that 14 tiger reserves have been approved under CA|TS, and NTCA is working on getting other reserves evaluated for CA|TS accreditation, the minister said.
He stated that six committees would be formed to visit the reserves and assist in formulating better policies.
Concerning poaching, the minister stated that the north eastern states have an air gun problem and that the ministry has advised states and union territories to hold awareness programs so that people can surrender their guns. PTI AG VN VN
This report was automatically generated from PTI news. ThePrint is not responsible for its contents.