What is India-Namibia MoU on Cheetah Restoration?

On July 20, 2022, India and Namibia inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to reintroduction cheetahs in historical range in India. 8 Cheetahs (4 males and 4 females) are likely to reach India, in August 2022. They will be reintroduced in Kuno National Park of Madhya Pradesh.

Highlights of the MoU include;

  • It seeks to promote conservation and restoration of cheetahs in the historical range, where they are extinct species now.
  • India and Namibia will collaborate on areas including climate change, environmental governance, pollution, waste management, and environmental impact assessments, pollution and waste management, as a part of the MoU.
  • MoU was inked with the goal of establishing viable cheetah metapopulation across India, allowing the species to perform its functional role of top predator.

Cheetah Restoration Plan:

  • India has planned to introduce 8 to 10 cheetahs each year.
  • In next five years, a total 50 cheetahs will be relocated to India from Namibia, South Africa and other African countries.

About Cheetah:

The cheetah is scientifically known as Acinonyx jubatus. The large cat is native to Africa and central Iran. It is the fastest land animal, running at the speed of 80 to 128 km/h. They can be found in variety of habitats like savannahs of Serengeti, arid mountain ranges of Sahara and hilly desert terrain of Iran. In the IUCN Red list, Cheetah is listed in Vulnerable category.

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