Reintroduction of Cheetahs in India

Government of India has planned to bring disease-free, behaviourally sound Cheetahs from abroad in India, as a part of reintroduction plan.

What are other qualities that Government is looking for?

  • Government is also looking for Cheetahs, that are not overly imprinted to humans but tolerant, predators-wary, and are capable of hunting wild prey.
  • Cheetahs should be in the reproductive age.
  • They should be “socially tolerant of each other”.

Number of Cheetahs to be reintroduced

Government has planned to reintroduce 12 to 14 cheetahs from South Africa, Namibia and Other African Countries over a period of five years.

How these Cheetahs will be monitored?

All these Cheetahs will be fitted with satellite or GSM-GPS-VHF radio-collars before they will be release in the wild, so that they could be monitored remotely.

Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India

Under the ‘Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India, government seeks to introduce at least 50 Cheetahs in various national parks over the period of five years. Environment Ministry is in process of holding consultation meetings with African countries to bring Cheetah. In the initial phase, around 12-14 wild Cheetahs will be imported to establish a new cheetah population. Among them, there will be 8-10 males and 4-6 females.  The plan to reintroduce cheetahs was first conceived by then Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in 2009.  Cheetahs were to be reintroduced in 2021, but it got delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic.

When did Cheetah got extinct in India?

Cheetah is the only large carnivore, that became extinct in 1950s in India.

Funds for reintroduction plan

Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger, government has allocated Rs. 38.70 crore to the cheetah introduction project for the years 2021-22 to 2025-26.

Where will Cheetahs be reintroduced?

Government aims to establish a free-ranging population of cheetahs across Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. Population in KNP will be managed as a metapopulation. Other recommended sites for holding and conservation breeding of cheetah in India are:

  1. Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary, MP
  2. Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, MP
  3. Bhainsrorgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, MP
  4. Shahgarh bulge in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
  5. Mukundara Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan.

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