On Friday, five female and three male African cheetahs will embark on a 10-hour, 8,000-km intercontinental journey to their new home in India. And among those traveling on the Boeing 747 jet is Dr. Laurie Marker, one of the world’s leading experts on the cheetah, who says managing human-animal conflict will be the biggest challenge in India.
Cheetahs between the ages of two and six are currently being kept in a “boma”, a small fenced camp, for quarantine and treatment at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) center in Otjiwarongo, Namibia. Each animal has been vaccinated, fitted with a satellite collar, and underwent a comprehensive health check.
The modified Boeing cargo plane will depart from Hosse Kutako International Airport in Namibian capital Windhoek on September 17 and land at Jaipur airport.
After this the animals will go to their new home in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
It is in Kuno where the real work will begin, explains Dr. Marker, who is also the founder and executive director of CCF. Indian Express,
The American expert has been an advisor to the Indian government on the Cheetah Rehabilitation Project over the past 12 years, and has been in charge of the CCF project on behalf of the Namibian government.
Dr Marker says he first carried out a cheetah rehabilitation project from Namibia to South Africa in 2005 – the latter country now has about 1,000 individuals.
“77 percent of cheetahs in Africa actually live in areas outside protected areas – and the reason they don’t co-exist with minimal human-animal conflict is because the cheetah is not an aggressive animal, unlike lions.” or tigers, but also because of the awareness programs that governments have created to educate farmers on how to handle cheetahs. Since cheetahs attack livestock, the biggest threat to cheetahs I would say, and India For conservation projects such as reintroduction in the U.S., farmers are trying to protect their livestock. But there are ways to deal with this, including keeping herders, guard dogs, and keeping the animals healthy and strong, so that they are protected by cheetahs. Don’t be picked up,’ said Dr Marker.
Dr Marker adds that having a healthy and plentiful hunting base will also ensure that the cheetah does not attack the animals.
“While we have carried out a number of projects to revive cheetahs across Africa since the 1990s, this is the first time such an inter-continental project has been undertaken. And it is for global conservation of cheetahs. very important, which is critically endangered in many parts. The cheetah has become extinct in many countries due to human activity, so it is our responsibility to ensure that it is brought back and protected. Of course the ideal situation is to save the animal. Because reintroduction is a difficult and lengthy process. But once an animal becomes extinct, it is the only way out,” said Dr. Marker.
Incoming cheetahs, consisting of two male siblings, were selected based on an assessment of their health, temperament, hunting prowess and ability to contribute to genetics, which would result in a strong founding population.
Cheetahs are among the oldest cat species, with ancestors dating back approximately 8.5 million years. The CCF believes that the number of cheetahs globally is just under 7,500 individuals. It is listed as “Vulnerable” in the Red List of Threatened Species by the World Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Two subspecies, the Asiatic cheetah and the Northwest African cheetah, are listed as “critically endangered”.
“The cheetah has lost 90% of its global habitat over the past 100 years and now lives in 9 percent of its historical range. Of the cheetah’s 31 populations, many have only 100-200 animals whose habitats are fragmenting – These include the regions of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania. Sustaining the population for generations to come is a challenge – and therefore the Indian government’s initiative is welcome and visionary,” said Dr. Marker.
Dr Marker said that cheetahs are adaptable and will be able to cope with Indian climatic conditions. “In the parts of Africa where cheetahs are found, temperatures can vary between very hot during the day and cold at night, and cheetahs can adapt to seasonal changes. They live in Africa, like India, with extreme rainfall and wet weather. encounters,” she says, adding that Kuno, whom she has seen many times, provides a fitting scenario for the animal.
According to a CCF analysis of documented cheetah translations, at least 727 cheetahs were translated at 64 sites in southern Africa between 1965 and 2010. Six of the 64 release sites were considered successful on the basis of natural recruitment (birth), which exceeded the adult mortality rate three years after introduction. began.
Dr Marker says: “We certainly cannot control the adult mortality rate among cheetahs. Our effort will be to ensure zero mortality, but there is no guarantee. For the India project to be successful, we need 5 Will have to wait for 10 years and see what is the effect of the transfer.
The aircraft that brought the animals back has been sourced by Action Aviation which usually translates to animals. With a picture of a tiger on its nose, it was obtained from a United Arab Emirates-based airline company called Aqualine International Corp.