The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has constituted a nine-member task force that will monitor the project of Cheetah introduction at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh and other suitable designated areas. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) took to Twitter on Friday and shared the information.
The members who will constitute the task force include Principal Secretary (Forests), Principal Secretary (Tourism), Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Force, and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, Dr. Amit Mallick, Inspector General, NTCA, Alok Kumar, Retd. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, Dr Vishnu Priya, scientist, Wildlife Institute of India, Abhilash Khandekar, MP SBWL, Bhopal and Subhoranjan Sen, APCCF-Wildlife.
The task force will “review and monitor the health status of Cheetah, upkeep of the quarantine and soft release enclosures, protection status of the entire area, adherence to the defined protocols by forest and veterinary officials and advise on Cheetah introduction in India to the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and NTCA on status of Cheetah with respect to health, behaviour and their upkeep.” the official statement said. The committee will monitor the release of Cheetah, their hunting skills, and their adaptation to the new habitat.
Further opening of Cheetah habitat for eco-tourism and other regulations in that regard will also be overseen by the task force apart from advising on the development of tourism infrastructure in the Kuno National Park.
The task force members will be interacting with Cheetah Mitras and local communities to raise awareness about their conservation in particular and an area in general.
The task force will be in force for two years and will hold at least one meeting every month to review work done, The task force can also form a subcommittee to visit the Cheetah reintroduction areas.
The Cheetah project was revived by the NTCA in 2017. In 2020, the SC allowed it “on an experimental basis” under a three-member committee.