From cheetahs to pangolins: It’s survival of the fittest for Indian wildlife

From cheetahs to pangolins: It’s survival of the fittest for Indian wildlife

The cheetahs are again in India. It has been over 70 lengthy years because the final of the Asiatic cheetahs have been hunted down in India by the royals and the prosperous. To wipe a species out fully – it’s not a toddler’s play. Actual effort was given, and clearly not in a great way. It took actual women and men some nice “braveness” to fell the “beast”. The pleasure that they should have felt!

Anyway, quick ahead 70-plus years, eight cousins of the Asiatic cheetah, all the way in which from Namibia, have been delivered to India on September 17, 2022.


Challenge Cheetah is an formidable undertaking by the Authorities of India to re-establish the species in its erstwhile pure vary in India. Challenge Cheetah can also be the world’s first inter-continental giant wild carnivore translocation undertaking.

After an extended 10-hour flight from Windhoek in Namibia to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, after which lastly to Palpur-Kuno Nationwide Park, the eight younger cheetahs have been lastly launched right into a quarantined enclosure within the park the place they are going to be noticed for a while.

From cheetahs to pangolins: It’s survival of the fittest for Indian wildlife

One can’t assist however surprise – however these are African species. How will they cope within the Indian wilds? It’s not like they’ve come from an analogous ecosystem. This one-of-its-kind immigration is one thing everyone seems to be ready to see the way it seems. It’s a complete new addition to the record of prime Indian huge wild carnivores. Despite the fact that they’re cheetahs, they aren’t even from the identical continent, and this has precipitated many debates within the media.

We, at Instances Journey, determined we are going to hear from the topic specialists themselves.

Talking to us on the subject of African cheetah relocation undertaking’s end result, Mr. Praveen Rao Koli, retired Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Uttar Pradesh, stated, “The undertaking will certainly deliver variety to the Indian wildlife and it’ll hopefully save the delicate grassland ecosystem. Additionally, the authorities should take utmost care and precaution in terms of relocating animals. This can be a case of intercontinental translocation, which suggests these cheetahs are faraway from their dwelling floor to a very alien ecosystem. Loads of care must be given in an effort to shield the cats from any form of microbial infections. Failing to do that could deliver again the unlucky state of affairs of 2014 in Etawah, UP, the place two Asiatic lions died inside a month of relocation. After consultations with skilled veterinarians, different transferred lions have been vaccinated on time. At current, the lions are wholesome and the numbers are growing. ”

From cheetahs to pangolins: It’s survival of the fittest for Indian wildlife

We additionally spoke to Vivek Menon, Founder and ED – Wildlife Belief of India, Councillor of the IUCN & Chair AsESG, Sr Advisor IFAW, on the subject of re-introduction of the cheetah into Indian wildlife (African cheetah to be particular), into an alien ecosystem, and what sort of impacts will it have on the ecosystem and the launched species.

“I believe bringing again any species that we’ve misplaced is an efficient factor. We’ve to be daring in lots of the administration points and never be depending on very conservative ideas. Cheetahs genetically have gone via a bottleneck 10,000 years in the past, and there may be not all that a lot distinction between an African or Asian cheetah. At finest we’re speaking about subspecies. Most of the animals we’ve inside India have subspecies. There may be completely no difficulty in getting them into India”, stated Vivek Menon.

We will’t discuss re-introduction of species with out addressing the elephant within the room – species which might be at the moment on the point of extinction.

From cheetahs to pangolins: It’s survival of the fittest for Indian wildlife

A Critically Endangered feminine Bengal Florican from Assam

When requested about what this cheetah episode meant for the species, who will probably be sharing the identical ecosystem and who’re additionally a few of the world’s most threatened species struggling to outlive, Vivek Menon added, “If in any respect it’s a constructive factor. At a later stage, when the following generations of cheetahs go into habitats which have these threatened species, that habitat will get extra safety. What we gained’t do for the caracal or the Nice Indian Bustard (each Critically Endangered) we are going to do for the cheetah as a result of it’s extra charismatic and holds folks’s consideration. The opposite species can even profit from this.”

“Lion conservation is necessary, tiger conservation is necessary, bustard conservation is necessary, bringing the cheetah again can also be necessary. We’ve to seek out methods of doing all, not one”, he added.

From cheetahs to pangolins: It’s survival of the fittest for Indian wildlife

Indian courser from Nashik

We will solely hope that this works out for the cheetahs and the Indian wildlife usually as a result of the place this matter will get mentioned, there will probably be some phrases not only for the conservation of different threatened species in India but in addition for the conservation of the forest and grassland ecosystem.

Different species below risk in India

Talking of conservation, in India, as per the Pink Information Guide of Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are 13 Critically Endangered species of birds and 34 species recognized as Critically Endangered within the class of mammals, reptiles, fishes and amphibians.

Animals just like the snow leopard, bustard (together with floricans), hangul (Kashmiri stag), Nilgiri tahr, pygmy hog, Asian wild buffalo, Manipur brow-antlered deer, Asiatic lion, Swamp Deer, to call just a few, they’re all on the point of extinction, largely on account of unlawful looking and lack of habitat.

From cheetahs to pangolins: It’s survival of the fittest for Indian wildlife

Chinese language Pangolin from Tamenglong, Manipur (rescued and launched again within the wild)

Out of those, there’s a silent sufferer of poaching and habitat loss – the Chinese language pangolin.

Do you know that there’s a distant nook in Manipur, which could as properly be one of many final pure habitats for these Chinese language pangolins? The precise location is saved secret by conservationists engaged on this, because it additionally comes with the issue of worldwide trafficking of animals.

Sure, you learn that proper.

Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammals. The Corbett Basis, together with Rainforest Membership Tamenglong (Tamenglong based mostly non-profit organisation) and Manipur Forest Division, are at the moment working in the direction of conservation of the Chinese language pangolin and its habitat restoration.

A number of views by Mr Parveen Kaswan, IFS, additionally make clear what occurred to the cheetah inhabitants in India. Earlier than they went into extinction, the massive cats have been maimed, hunted and domesticated for additional looking. There may be recorded proof for Mughal emperor Akbar happening looking expeditions with cheetahs part of his looking troupe. Mr Kaswan additionally shared a report of an commercial by the then Authorities of India, calling vacationers to come back to the nation to hunt in its “lush jungles”.

When a mega transfer like cheetah relocation comes into play, one can’t assist however hope that the identical degree of enthusiasm and curiosity will probably be given to different species as properly. Survival of the fittest they are saying, however all these animals too deserve a combating likelihood, they deserve a habitat. Simply because the one we offered for the cheetahs.

  1. What’s Challenge Cheetah?
    Challenge Cheetah is an formidable undertaking by the Authorities of India to re-establish the species in its erstwhile pure vary in India. Challenge Cheetah can also be the world’s first inter-continental giant wild carnivore translocation undertaking.
  2. What number of Critically Endangered species of animals are there in India?
    As per the Pink Information Guide of Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are 13 Critically Endangered species of birds and 34 species recognized as Critically Endangered within the class of mammals, reptiles, fishes and amphibians.
  3. The place is Kuno Nationwide Park?
    Kuno Nationwide Park is in Madhya Pradesh



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