What’s the news?
- The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) founder has warned that the first generation of the reintroduced cheetahs in India may have to be monitored for their entire life and “success will take a lot of time” as bringing an animal back from extinction in a country is not an easy process.
- The cheetahs being brought from Africa are used to other predators such as leopards and lions. However, there can be losses due to the interaction between the species in India.
News in detail
- The cheetah has come back to India 70 years after the species was declared extinct in the country in 1952. The large carnivore got completely wiped out from India due to their use for coursing, sport hunting, over-hunting and habitat loss.
- The main focus should be on the adaptation of these animals, their hunting and reproduction and there should be a viable population, which should be a larger number.
- Experts will also be looking at other habitats for the animals to be moved into which should be a metapopulation and managing them simultaneously will be a complex process.
- Metapopulations are spatially separated populations of the same species which interact at some level.
- The animals have been fitted with satellite collars to enable scientists to track their movements and monitor their health status.
- In semi-arid regions of Namibia, cheetahs utilize their huge home range of about 1,500 sq km while the Kuno National Park (KNP) is spread over just 748 sqkm,the CCF and Indian authorities believe the cheetahs’ home range size requirements in India is likely to be “lower due to the more productive habitats as their home ranges are also dependent on the amount of prey that’s available to them. Eg: Leopards in KNP which are nine per 100 sq km are a big cause for concern for authorities as in Africa, leopards are known to attack adult cheetahs and spotted hyenas kill cheetah cubs.