PM releases wild Cheetahs – which had become extinct from India – in Kuno National Park

Source: The post is based on the article PM releases wild Cheetahs – which had become extinct from India – in Kuno National Parkpublished in PIB on 18th September 2022.

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has released wild Cheetahs – which had become extinct from India – in Kuno National Park as part of Project Cheetah. 

What is Project Cheetah?
Project Cheetah
Source: Indian Express

The introduction of cheetahs in India is being done under Project Cheetah.It is the world’s first intercontinental large wild carnivore translocation project.

Under this project, eight Cheetahs (five female and three male Cheetahs) have been brought from Namibia and released in Kuno National Park (Madhya Pradesh).

Significance: Cheetahs will help restore open forest and grassland ecosystems in India. This will help conserve biodiversity and enhance the ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration and soil moisture conservation, benefiting society at large.

What are the achievements made by India in the area of environmental protection and sustainability? 

Protected areas: The coverage of Protected Areas which was 4.90% of the country’s geographical area in 2014 has now increased to 5.03%.

Forest cover: Forest and tree cover has increased by 16,000 square km in the last four years. India is among the few countries in the world where forest cover is consistently increasing.

Community reserves: There has also been an increase in the number of community reserves. From just 43 in 2014 their numbers are more than 100 in 2019.

Tigers: India is home to 52 Tiger Reserves covering approximately 75,000 Sq Km area in 18 States with approximately 75% population of the wild tiger at the global level. 

– India achieved the goal of doubling the tiger numbers in 2018 itself, four years in advance of the targeted year 2022. The Tiger Population in India has increased from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018.

Asiatic Lions: The population of Asiatic Lions has shown a steady increase with a population of 674 individuals with an increase rate of 28.87% (one of the highest growth rates so far) from the 523 lions in 2015.

Leopards: India now (2020) has 12,852 leopards as compared to the previous estimate of 7910 conducted in 2014. More than a 60% increase in population has been recorded.

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