Supreme Court: African Cheetah permitted to be introduced in India

On January 28, 2020, Supreme Court ruled that African Cheetah shall be permitted to be introduced in India. The cat is being introduced on experimental basis.

Highlights

The Apex Court had put the move on hold 10 years back. It was proposed by the then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. The proposal was to introduce foreign Cheetahs into the Palpur Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. However, the Apex Court stalled the proposal fearing the Cheetahs might become into conflict with the project of reintroduction of lions in the sanctuary.

Supreme Court formed a three-member committee based on whose recommendation the judgement was pronounced.

Need

Cheetah is the only mammal being hunted to extinction in India.  The last Cheetah was sighted in 1952.

IUCN Red List

Cheetahs are classified as “Critically Endangered” under the IUCN Red List.

Why are the Cheetahs reintroduced in India?

With the Cheetahs extinct in India, the environmentalists suggest that it is essential to reintroduce them in order to maintain balance in the ecosystem.

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