In Yet Another Wildlife Initiative, Cheetahs To Be Reintroduced In Gujarat - Vibes Of India

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In Yet Another Wildlife Initiative, Cheetahs To Be Reintroduced In Gujarat

| Updated: December 9, 2023 11:16

The Centre has given its nod to set up a breeding centre for cheetahs at the Banni grasslands in Gujarat’s Kutch district, state forests and environment minister Mulubhai Bera said.

“The Gujarat government sent a proposal to the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management Authority under National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management And Planning Authority (CAMPA). The executive committee of National CAMPA, granted its approval for setting up a cheetah breeding centre at Banni grasslands,” the minister said.

Bera said cheetahs once roamed the Banni grasslands but had become extinct in the state in the wild. “With the proposal having been cleared, cheetahs are expected to roam in the wild yet again in Kutch,” the minister said.

Wildlife experts said that there were records of cheetah hunting in Saurashtra and Dahod until 1921, adding that several reference journals had mentioned cheetah presence in Gujarat until the early 1940s. Re-introducing cheetahs in the state, especially in Kutch, however, would be a daunting task, they warned. “…Kutch does not have an adequate prey base. The Gujarat government will have to set up breeding centres and introduce a prey base in this area before cheetahs are brought.

When Project Cheetah was first implemented, five sites – including the Banni grasslands – had been identified in the country for cheetah conservation, said sources.

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