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A Big Cat Mistake

  • Published
    19th Sep, 2022

Context:

The Introduction of Cheetahs from Namibia is a decision with a risk of its success in Kuno Palpur Sanctuary and can take away resources from other needed conservations. The decision requires much more analysis than just with a reason to relocate the African Cheetah population in India.

The Estimated Analysis:

  • Cheetah in their best habitat exists in very less density as calculated to be 1 in 100 sq. km with average female density to be 750 Sq. kilometres.
  • The cheetahs are expected to establish themselves as a population in Kuno sanctuary after about 15 years.
  • The area of Kuno palpur which is 748 sq. km can at best accommodate only about 10 adult cheetahs, against the estimated 21 adults by the government.

Concerns associated with the relocation Project:

  • Lack of Space for habitat development: Wild and free-ranging population of cheetahs will not be able to establish itself in India when there is no suitable habitat of sufficient size.
  • Relocation Numbers estimated: The government has estimated to establish about 1000 cheetah in India, which is worrying as unlike other cats they tend to live in large spaces.
  • Biological objective for Conservation: The basis for relocation is to conserve the grassland habitat; however, the aim will only be achieved when there is large numbers of cheetah adults.
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