Cheetahs from Namibia to be kept at Nauradehi Sanctuary: NTCA
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has stated in the Supreme Court that Spotted Cheetahs being translocated from Namibia would be kept at Nauradehi sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
NTCA even stated that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has given no objection for the translocation and the decision to reintroduce spotted cheetahs in India was supported by Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Cheetah Extinction from India
India’s last spotted cheetah had died in 1947. In 1952, the animal was declared extinct in the country.
Cheetah Re-introduction Project
The central government had set up an expert panel for reintroducing the cheetah in India. The panel recommended that the home of the fastest animal could be Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh, Velavadar National Park in Gujarat and Tal Chapar sanctuary in Rajasthan.
NTCA, a statutory body under Union Environment Ministry had committed Rs.50 crore to State for this project in the year 2011. Cheetah Re-introduction Project was conceived in the year 2012.
But the activists went to the Supreme Court against the decision. Supreme Court appointed a panel to review the project. The Supreme Court appointed panel advised against the reintroduction citing India does not have habitat and prey density” to support cheetahs. The report even accused government-run institutions of “incorrectly compressing” data to get the approval of the apex court to seek the reintroduction of the big cat from Africa. As a result, the project had gone into dead storage.
In the year 2018, the government of Madhya Pradesh wrote to NTCA to revive the project. The NTCA has approached the Supreme Court seeking a clarification that there is no blanket ban of the apex court on re-introduction of cheetahs in the country.