This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Project Cheetah”. The topic “Project Cheetah” has relevance in the Environment and biodiversity Section for the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

What is Project Cheetah?

For Mains:

GS 3: Environment and biodiversity.

What is the importance of Project Cheetah?

What are the challenges?

Solution to the challenges?

Why in the news?

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.

What is Project Cheetah?

The Cheetah Project aims to reintroduce the cheetah into the habitat. With a focus on conservation and biodiversity restoration, the project strives to prevent the extinction of the species in India for the second time. By restoring cheetah populations, it hopes to contribute to ecosystem balance, promote scientific research, generate tourism opportunities, and raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.

The ‘Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India’ was introduced in 2022 by MoEF&CC. In 2022, eight Cheetahs, from Namibia, were relocated to Kuno Palpur National Park, Madhya pradesh.

What is the importance of Project Cheetah?

  • Conservation: The project focuses on the conservation and restoration of the cheetah in India. By reintroducing cheetahs into the wild, the project aims to prevent their extinction and contribute to biodiversity conservation efforts.
  • Ecosystem Restoration: Cheetahs play a vital role in the ecosystem as apex predators. Their reintroduction can help restore the natural balance of the ecosystem by controlling prey populations, which in turn can have cascading effects on other species and ecological processes.
  • Tourism and Economic Benefits: Successful cheetah reintroduction can have positive impacts on tourism, attracting nature enthusiasts, researchers, and wildlife photographers. Increased tourism can contribute to local economies, generating revenue and employment opportunities for communities residing near the cheetah habitats.
  • Scientific Research: The project provides an opportunity for scientists and researchers to study the behavior, ecology, and adaptations of the cheetah in the habitat. This research can lead to a better understanding of the species and aid in developing effective conservation strategies.
  • Awareness and Education: The Cheetah project raises awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation and the need to protect endangered species. It can serve as an educational tool to promote environmental consciousness among local communities, schools, and the general public.


What are the Challenges?

  • Habitat Availability: Ensuring suitable and sufficient habitat is available for cheetahs can be a significant challenge. Factors such as land fragmentation, human encroachment, and competition with other species may limit the available space for cheetahs to thrive.
  • Prey Availability: Cheetahs rely on abundant prey populations for survival. Ensuring a sustainable prey base is crucial for the success of the cheetah project. Declining prey species or competition with other predators can pose challenges in maintaining a balanced ecosystem for cheetahs.
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict: Cheetahs coming into contact with human settlements can lead to conflicts, as they may prey on livestock or face retaliatory actions from local communities.
  • Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade: Cheetahs face the threat of poaching and illegal wildlife trade. Their valuable skin, bones, and other body parts are sought after in illegal markets. 
  • Translocation and Adaptation: Successfully translocating cheetahs to a new habitat and ensuring their adaptation and survival in the wild can be complex. Cheetahs may face challenges related to unfamiliar territories, availability of suitable food and water sources, and interactions with other wildlife.
  • Financial and Institutional Support: Implementing and sustaining a cheetah project requires significant financial resources, as well as institutional support from government bodies, conservation organizations, and local communities. 


Solution to the challenges?

  • Habitat Restoration and Protection: Implement measures to restore and protect cheetah habitats, including creating wildlife corridors, establishing protected areas, and promoting sustainable land-use practices.
  • Prey Management: Develop strategies to ensure a sustainable prey base for cheetahs, such as implementing wildlife management plans, monitoring prey populations, and promoting habitat restoration for prey species.
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation: Employ methods like predator-proof enclosures, improved livestock husbandry practices, and community-based conservation initiatives to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.
  • Anti-Poaching and Law Enforcement: Strengthen anti-poaching measures, increase patrols, and enhance collaboration between law enforcement agencies, conservation organizations, and local communities.
  • Translocation and Adaptation Support: Provide post-release monitoring and support for reintroduced cheetahs, including tracking their movements, ensuring access to water and prey, and addressing any health or adaptation challenges.
  • Funding and Collaboration: Seek sustained financial support from governments, international organizations, philanthropic foundations, and corporate partnerships.
  • Public Awareness and Education: Conduct public awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of cheetah conservation, promote the ecological role of cheetahs, and engage local communities in conservation efforts.

Source: The Hindu

Q.1 Consider the following statements about Cheetah Project:

  1. Cheetahs were relocated from Africa to Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh.
  2. Cheetahs were relocated from Tanzania to India.

Select the correct statement(s) from the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of the above

Answer: (d)

Q.2  Consider the following statements regarding the significance and challenges of the cheetah project:

  1. The cheetah project plays a non-significant role in biodiversity conservation by aiming to reintroduce the cheetah into the habitat.
  2. The project aims to restore the natural balance of ecosystems by controlling prey populations through the reintroduction of cheetahs.
  3. One of the challenges in the cheetah project is ensuring the availability of suitable and sufficient habitat for the cheetahs to thrive.

Select the correct statement(s) from the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 only

Answer: (b)

Q.3 The project “Cheetah” aims to reintroduce the cheetah in India. Discuss the significance of this project and analyze the challenges associated with its implementation. Also, suggest measures to overcome these challenges and ensure the long-term success of the project. (15 marks)

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