Asiatic Cheetah Reintroduction Project
The Asiatic Cheetahs History and Current Status :-
The Asiatic Cheetah is the name given to the Cheetah population in Asia. In Asia, they were found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Balochistan.
This population is listed as 'critically endangered'. The exact population is unknown but, surely, the overall population is below 100.It is also said that the population may be lesser than 50 as no proper census has taken place. The cheetah population is decreasing because of four prominent reasons that are-
1)Poaching of this exclusive cat.
2)In Iran, the size of the National Parks is very large(14,000-15,000 sq. km) but the prey base is very less and these animals have very little food as Iran is an arid and dry region.
3)In these extremely large National Parks, many highways pass through. Many vehicles go at very high speed even though it is prohibited
4)The cheetahs sometimes prey on domesticated sheep because the prey density is very less. That's when the cheetah is attacked by sheepdogs and in a group, the overpower the cheetah and kill it.
5)After such unfortunate losses, Iran should have initiated some scheme to protect the species from extinction. They did a semi captivity program where they captivated the cheetah, made it breed it and then released it back but it did not work. It was not done to their full potential.
The Relocation Program :-
The Iranian government has tried it's best to save the Asiatic cheetah from extinction but has been constantly loosing against human greed. The best way to save the Asiatic Cheetah is by getting it back to India as India has a very good forest set up that includes many IAS and IFS Officers and also various NGOs.India also has an excellent prey base which includes a variate of animals like the Indian Wild Ass, spotted deer, nilgai, chinkara, blackbuck, and the sambar deer. The Iranian government wanted the Asiatic Lion in exchange when India had asked for the Asiatic cheetah. This was a very good exchange but the Indian government was reluctant in giving away its lion. The lion should be given to Iran because the lion is also an extinct animal of Iran which Iran needs. The lions will adjust in Iran because they don't require constant monitoring as compared to the cheetah.
Why does the Asiatic Cheetah Need to make a Return
The Asiatic cheetah needs to return to India because of two main reasons-
1)If it doesn't return, the grasslands of India will not get any serious attention. Also, if the grasslands are developed. The herbivore population will become many times of what it should be.The lion AND the cheetah are required for making the grassland ecosystem function smoothly.
2)This will also save the Asiatic cheetah from extinction.
What alternative option did India go for :-
India wanted to go for the option of getting South African Cheetahs to India. The South African Cheetah should not be brought to India because of various reasons like-
1)It is the Asiatic Cheetah that needs to be brought to India because it is the only way the extinction of the Asiatic Cheetah can be prevented.
2) The South African cheetah does not belong to India(Asia). It is adapted to the African climate.
People should make a movement that forces the governments of Iran and India to agree on the exchange of the Asiatic cheetah and the Asiatic Lion from Iran and India respectively. This movement should be conducted on a large scale and this will save both these species from extinction. If nothing is done, two major species will also be lost forever.
Asiatic cheetah on a Water Hole- by DAVID MARINELLI
The hot and dry grasslands of Iran. Cheetahs can flourish here but the prey base is very less because of human greed. India is better than Iran in terms of conservation of the wild at present