Will the cheetahs be back in India?

The new environment minister has proposed to the Parliament to introduce cheetahs and retrieve the species. Been a century almost since the Cheetahs have been declared extinct. This new decision has evoked a debate among conservationists and also among people on..even if we introduce the cheetahs, will be able to safeguard them..considering the circumstances where we are not even able to save out national animal, tiger. Panna has lost its tiger base and Sariska is a tiger graveyard.

Dr MK Ranjitsinh, Chairman WTI, who leads the Cheetah Reintroduction Project, said, “This project would in no way affect the efforts to conserve the tiger, nor for that matter any other species or protected areas. It does not entail diverting any funds allocated by the Government for conservation of existing endangered species and habitats. No fund support is sought from the Government. Moreover, cheetah reintroduction would be attempted in a totally different habitat and milieu. This would help save the grasslands and dry forests and the flora and fauna within, in the same manner that the tiger helped save its forest and high grassland habitats and the snow leopard is to be the vanguard of the attempt to save the mountain habitats and its fauna. Indian conservation cannot be confined to just the tiger.”

The project, which is being planned at the moment, will work out its scientific road map after a meeting of national and international cheetah and re-introduction experts later this year.

Slowly, the declining numbers are indicators that wildlife conservation efforts to save tigers have not succeeded, despite the number of funds that have been going into it! How will we able to save cheetahs in India under the present circumstances?

Asian cheetahs will not come into India, but it will be the African cheetahs which will be introduced in grasslands of Rajasthan.

How will the project take off and what will be the outcome and will we able to save them? It is a question that only time can answer!


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