Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cheetahs in India

This is my first blog. For a long time i have been thinking to write. Now i am happy that i starts my blogging with one of my favorite topic "Indian Wildlife".

Last month Forest minister of India told that Govt of India is planning to re wilding Cheetahs in India.

That is a great news. As per Forest Minister of India Cheetah is the only animal that became extinct from India in 100 years.
(Remember Cheetah and Leopard are different species. Latter is still existent in India)

India is one of the countries with rich and diverse wildlife. According to one study India has 60%-70% world Biodiversity. We can proudly say that India has lot of species esp big cats (Lion,Tiger,Leopard) after Africa. India is the only country where we can see all these three big cats after African continent. India has lot of endemic species.

K back to Cheetah .

The word "cheetah" is derived from the Sanskrit word citrakāyaḥ, meaning "variegated body"

The World fastest animal once were roaming all over India. Indian kings used Cheetah as their pet for hunting. Mughal emperor Akbar had more than 1000 Cheetahs as his pets. But Cheetahs went extinct from India in 1940s. The Cheetahs in India were Asian Cheetahs. Now the Asian Cheetahs are exist only in Iran. That too in very small number(nearly 100).

Cheetahs going to be re introduced in India are African Cheetahs. They are large in number than their Asian counterpart. If we decide to bring back Asian Cheetahs in indian forest, we can ask only Iran. But Iran may ask for interchanging Cheetahs with one of our Indian big cats (Lion!!) :) . Asiatic Lions are exist only in Gir forest in Gujarat (around 400 Lions are roaming in Gir). I think that is why we introduce African Cheetahs :) .

It will take some time for the Cheetahs to roam in Indian forests. Initially they will be in captive, after some time they will be introduced in forests.

But reintroducing of Cheetahs is not an easy task. Already we are struggling to save our big cats in forests.
Reintroduction of cheetahs need lot of space(around 1000 sq km grassland) and also it will be good if that grassland is free of other big cats esp Lion and Tiger. But already forests are shrinking in India because of encroachment.

Along with that already we have lot of Man - Leopard conflicts (I heard that in some part of Africa, Man - Cheetah conflicts are avoided by introduction of one kind of dogs. These dogs are pets of farmers and they are used to save cattle from Cheetahs !!!).

Even though Cheetah reintroduction will have lot of difficulties, it is a great news. I do not like to see any species extinct from World and esp from India. Already lot of species in India are endangered. We have to save our precious and one of India's proudest wealth. I am eager for the day Cheetahs are going to roam in Indian forests.

No comments: