CMS COP 13 Current Affairs - 2020

Facts Box: Cheetah Reintroduction Project

Cheetah has become extinct in India for more than 70 years now due to over hunting. Hence, several steps are being taken for the reintroduction of the cat in the country. It was brought up at CMS-COP 13 as well.

Highlights

On January 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of India cleared way for the reintroduction of Cheetah Project. It is expected that the National Tiger Conservation Authority will reintroduce the mammal in Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary after conducting an assessment.

Cheetah is the only flagship species to become extinct in India.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List has categorized Cheetah as Vulnerable.

Cheetah in India

Cheetah has become extinct in India mainly because of hunting. The last Cheetah was shot in Chhattisgarh in 1947. In 2000, scientists proposed to clone Asiatic Cheetah from Iran. However, the plan was dropped as Iran demanded for an Asiatic lion in return. After such several hurdles, Cheetah is being reintroduced in the country.

Asian Elephant, Great Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican classified as “Endangered Migratory Species” at CMS COP13

On February 20, 2020, Asian Elephant, Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican were declared as “Endangered Migratory Species” at the CMS COP 13. The proposal was accepted by 130 countries.

Asian Elephant

India declared Indian Elephant as “National Heritage Animal”. This provides highest degree of legal protection to the animal under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The Asian elephants are called Indian Elephants in the country. The threats to the Indian Elephants include habitat loss, human elephant conflict, habitat fragmentation, illegal trade and poaching.

Bengal Florican

The population of the species has declined greatly due to habitat loss. The Bengal Florican does not breed outside the protected areas today. It is listed as the critically endangered species under the IUCN list and is of the topmost conservation priority.

Great Indian Bustard

The Great Indian Bustard is also listed under critically endangered species in IUCN Red List. In order to protect the species, the Indian Government has declared their habitats as conservation reserves. According to the Wildlife Institute of India, there are only 150 Great Indian Bustards left in the country.