Due to a combination of a diminishing habitat and hunting, the Cheetah has been extinct since 1952 in India. However, there is now hope for the species to be reintroduced, with an action plan that has been built by the Indian government.
The plan will see that between 8 and 12 cheetahs are relocated to the Kuno Palpur National Park, where the cheetahs will be better protected. Within the next five years, the goal set is an increase of around 50 cheetahs, with hopes of improving biodiversity and ecosystems.
“The primary aim is to establish a free-ranging population of cheetahs in and around KNP in Madhya Pradesh,” Yadav wrote in the Action Plan document. “Further, this population in KNP will be managed as a metapopulation with other two to three established populations of cheetah in India with occasional ‘immigrants’ brought in from Africa, as and when needed.”
Yadav noted the importance of protecting the big cats. He plans to ensure extra protection and management of the protected areas where they will be located, where many important rivers are also situated.