Cheetah Reintroduction Programme
Environment and Ecology > Species extinction & protection > Species in news
Why in news?
- India and South Africa have signed an agreement to translocate 12 cheetahs to India.
- The cheetah is a large cat native to Africa and central Iran. It is the fastest land animal, estimated to be capable of running at 80 to 128 km/h.
- The cheetah occurs in a variety of habitats such as:
- Savannah grasslands in the Serengeti (Kenya-Tanzania, Africa)
- Arid mountain ranges in the Sahara and
- Hilly desert terrain in Iran.
- The cheetah lives in three main social groups: females and their cubs, male "coalitions", and solitary males. While females lead a nomadic life searching for prey in large home ranges, males are more sedentary and instead establish much smaller territories in areas with plentiful prey and access to females.
- The cheetah is active during the day, with peaks during dawn and dusk.
- The cheetah is threatened by several factors such as habitat loss, conflict with humans, poaching and high susceptibility to diseases.
- In 2016, the global cheetah population was estimated at around 7,100 individuals in the wild
- It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
- Asiatic cheetah:
- It is one among the five subspecies of Cheetah
- It is critically endangered as per IUCN, and currently only surviving in Iran.
- It once occurred from the Arabian Peninsula, Caspian region, Transcaucasus, South Asia etc. but was extirpated in these regions during the 20th century
- It is smaller and paler than an African cheetah and looks more like a cat with a smaller head and longer neck.
Cheetah’s Reintroduction Programme:
- In India, the Cheetah’s population got completely wiped out in the early 1950s, mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss.
- Under the ‘Action Plan for Reintroduction of Cheetah in India’, cheetahs will be brought from African countries to various national parks over the next few years.
- As per agreement, 12 Cheetah’s will be translocated to India from South Africa.
- The Cheetah’s will be reintroduced at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where eight such cats were brought from Namibia in 2022 under a similar agreement.
- The initial batch of cheetahs from South Africa will be followed by the transport of batches of 12 annually for the next “eight to 10 years”.
With reference to ‘Cheetah’, consider the following statements:
1. They are largely nocturnal in nature
2. While females lead a nomadic life searching for prey in large home ranges, males are more sedentary.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2