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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-III :
  • 29 January, 2020

  • 2 Min Read

African cheetahs to be introduced in India

Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the move by the court and arrangements made by it; about NTCA

News: The Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted its seven-year stay on a proposal to introduce African cheetahs from Namibia into the Indian habitat on an experimental basis. The plan was to revive the Indian cheetah population.

Background

  • India’s last spotted cheetah died in 1947 and the animal was declared extinct in the country in 1952.

  • In May 2012, the top court had stalled the plan to initiate the foreign cheetahs into the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh fearing they may come into conflict with a parallel and a much-delayed project to reintroduce lions into the same sanctuary.

  • The court was also worried whether the African cheetahs would find the sanctuary a favourable clime as far as abundance of prey is concerned.

Arrangements made by SC

  • The SC was hearing a petition filed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) seeking permission for the introduction of African Cheetah from Namibia.

  • But the Bench made sure that the right precautions are taken.

  • It set up a three-member committee, comprising former Director of Wildlife of India, DG of Wildlife of India, and DIG, Wildlife, Ministry of Environment and Forests, to ‘guide’ the NTCA.

  • It also directed the committee to file a progress report every four months.

  • The Supreme Court made it clear that a proper survey should be done to identify the best possible habitat for the cheetahs. Every effort should be taken to ensure that they adapt to the Indian conditions. The committee would help, advise and monitor the NTCA on these issues.

  • The action of the introduction of the animal would be left to the NTCA’s discretion. The court order notwithstanding, the actual process of translocation might be long-drawn.

Source: The Hindu


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