Thereintroduction of cheetahs in India can be useful for the biodiversity of India’s grassland ecosystems.
It is the world's fastest land mammal and the most unique and specialized member of the cat family. The scientific name of the species is Acinonyx Jubatus. Chestha is also the only cat that cannot retract its claws, an adaptation to help maintain traction like a soccer player’s cleats. It also bears distinctive black “tear tracks” running from the inside corner of each eye to the mouth that may serve as an anti-glare mechanism for daytime hunting. Female cheetahs typically give birth to three cubs at one time and live with them for one and a half to two years. Male cheetahs live alone or in small groups, often with their littermates. Most wild cheetahs are found in 23 countries in the eastern and southwestern Africa. The population of the species is declining globally due to reasons such as
a) Human-wildlife conflict
b) Decline of prey
c) Loss of habitat
d) Illegal wildlife trade etc.
Cheetha is the only species to have gone extinct in India. It is believed to have gone extinct in 1947. There have been many reintroductions in the southern part of Africa. E.g. Malawi project. India’s cheetah reintroduction project is an example of ‘Restorative Ecology’ and can be useful for the biodiversity of India’s grassland ecosystems. Though India is a different from the African continent, because of cheetah’s adaptability they are reintroduced. India’s wildlife prey base, as well as arid landscapes, are perfect for cheetah.
1. Create a proper habitat for cheetah
2. Support research projects
3. Take long-term efforts to re-establish populations
4. Promote community engagement and tourism activities.
Source- The Hindu and Down to Earth