Commemorating one year of successful implementation of Project Cheetah in India

Source: The post is based on the article Commemorating one year of successful implementation of Project Cheetah in India published in PIB on 17th September 2023

What is the News?

September 17th,2023 marked the first anniversary of the Project Cheetah.

What is Project Cheetah?

Project Cheetah is an initiative in India aimed at relocating cheetahs.It was the first intercontinental transfer of wild cats into India since independence. 

The project plans to bring 12-14 cheetahs from South Africa/Namibia/ other African Countries, annually for the next 5 years and after that, as and when required.

What is the status of the project?

In total, 20 adult African cheetahs have been imported so far.The first batch of eight cheetahs arrived and another batch of 12 cheetahs from South Africa arrived.

Recently, one of the females gave birth to a litter of four cubs which were conceived in India.

Six of the cheetahs which came from Africa have died.Four while still in captivity and two in the wild.

How has Project Cheetah performed according to the government?

In 2022, Government of India had released Cheetah Action Plan that lists six short-term success criteria such as 1) 50% survival of the introduced cheetahs for the first year 2) establishment of home ranges in Kuno National Park 3) successful cheetah reproduction in the wild 4) survival of wild-born cheetah cubs past one year 5) successful F1 generation breeding and 6) cheetah-based revenues contributing to community livelihoods.F1 stands for the first generation of offspring.

On completion of one year of Project Cheetah, the Government released a report which said that the project has achieved four of these criteria which are – 50% survival of the introduced cheetahs, establishment of home ranges, birth of cubs in Kuno National Park, and direct revenue contributions to local communities through the engagement of cheetah trackers and indirect appreciation of land value in surrounding areas.

What are the future plans under Project Cheetah?

Other alternative sites for cheetah introductions are being prepared at Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary and also at Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary. 

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