New committee set up to oversee cheetah project

Government formed the 11-member panel in the wake of death of three cheetah cubs

Updated - May 26, 2023 10:49 am IST

Published - May 25, 2023 09:49 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A view of a cheetah at the Kuno National Park. File

A view of a cheetah at the Kuno National Park. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Following the death of three cheetah cubs this week, the Centre on May 25 appointed a new steering committee, comprising national and international experts, to oversee the implementation of Project Cheetah.

The cubs were born to a translocated Namibian cheetah at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh in March 2023.

The 11-member committee will be led by Dr. Rajesh Gopal, secretary-general, Global Tiger Forum and formerly of the India Forest Service and closely associated with Project Tiger.

The committee’s mandate is to monitor the progress of the cheetah reintroduction programme and advise the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and the National Tiger Conservation Authority; to decide on opening up the cheetah habitat for eco-tourism and, suggest regulations in this regard, and to suggest ways to involve the local community in the project activities.

Field visits

The Cheetah Project Steering Committee will be in force for two years and will convene at least one meeting every month, besides conducting field visits to the Kuno National Park.

Also Read | Inadequate space for cheetahs in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park: former Wildlife Institute of India official

Other members include scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun; some experts from the NTCA and the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department; a panel of international experts, including Adrian Tordiffe, veterinary wildlife specialist, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Laurie Marker, Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia; Dr. Andrew John Fraser, Farm Olievenbosch, South Africa; and Vincent van dan Merwe, manager, Cheetah Metapopulation Project, The Metapopulation Initiative, South Africa. Several of the international experts have been involved in the cheetah translocation project from Namibia and South Africa respectively.

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