Cheetah reintroduction project

Cheetah reintroduction project

News: In a span of around two months, three adult cheetahs and three out of the four cubs born to a female Namibian cheetah, Sisaya, have died.

 Several experts have expressed concerns over the death of some cheetahs in Kuno National Park.
 The Madhya Pradesh Forest Department had written a letter to the National Tiger Conservation Authority in April, seeking an 'alternative' place for cheetahs to reside in, instead of Kuno.
 The Supreme Court suggested shifting cheetahs to other sanctuaries, pointing out the lack of space and logistical support in the national park.
 Reacting to the death of some adult cheetahs and cheetah cubs, South African wildlife expert Vincent van der Merwe on Thursday (May 25) recommended fencing the cheetah habitats. He believes it will prevent their 'extreme ranging behaviour'.

What are reasons for the deaths of Cheetah since its reintroduction?
 They are facing several Health issues. For example, Sasha’s death was due to kidney failure, possibly caused by an underlying infection or health issue that went undetected.
 The cheetahs were fed a flesh-only diet during quarantine and confinement, which might have deprived them of essential micronutrients and negatively impacted their health.
 Both Sasha and Uday may have experienced high-stress levels from confinement, relocation, or other factors, contributing to their health decline.
 Various other reasons, such as kidney ailments, injuries during mating, extreme heat, weakness and malnutrition are also said to be reason behind death of Cheetah’s in India.

What are steps taken by government as far as Cheetah reintroduction plans are concerned?
 The Action Plan has been developed in compliance with IUCN guidelines (2013).
 Kuno National Park was chosen after extensive research, ensuring that it has the necessary ecological conditions to support the cheetah population.
 The government is conducting regular health checks and providing necessary medical care.
 The government has partnered with the Cheetah Conservation Fund and other international organizations to ensure the success of the project, benefiting from their expertise and knowledge.
 A monitoring system, including camera traps and tracking devices, has been established to collect data on the cheetah population and inform future conservation efforts.
 The government has set up an 11-member high-level steering committee to review and monitor the progress of the cheetah reintroduction programme.

What are benefits of cheetah reintroduction? 
It will help in Biodiversity restoration
Brings Tourism opportunities
Reduces Human-Wildlife conflict as Cheetah's prey on crop-raiding animals
Cheetah's hold cultural relevance in India
Opporunity for scientists to study behavior of Cheetah and their impact on ecology
It will inspire conservation efforts of other species

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