18 cheetahs to be brought to India

July 29th, 2010 - 12:28 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) About 18 cheetahs, brought from the Middle East, will be introduced in grasslands at three sites recommended by wildlife experts, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said Wednesday.
The cheetah, which became extinct in India many years ago, will be reintroduced at three sites identified by wildlife experts - Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary and Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Shahgarh landscape in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

“It is important to bring back cheetah, as it will restore grasslands of India. The way tiger restores forest ecosystem, snow leopard restores mountain ecosystem, gangetic dolphin restores waters in the rivers, same way cheetah will restore grasslands of the country, aA government statement quoting Ramesh as saying.

Experts from Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) have recommended three sites to introduce the cheetah in India. They have submitted a feasibility report on ‘Assessing the Potential for Reintroducing the Cheetah in India’.

The report by the experts has identified three sites after surveying several landscapes in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to harbour viable reintroduced cheetah populations.

“Cheetah could potentially be reintroduced at Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary and Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary, both in Madhya Pradesh, and Shahgarh landscape in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. All the three sites require preparation and resource investments to commence and introduction programme,” the report said.

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