9-member task force to monitor cheetahs in MP’s Kuno National park | 5 points
The committee which is to hold at least one meeting per month, will also be expected to form regulations and guidelines to open the cheetahs’ habitat to eco-tourism.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has created a 9-member task force to monitor cheetahs - that were brought from Namibia last month - in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park, and other suitable designated areas. The task force will be entrusted with monitoring the health status of the cheetahs and reviewing their progress. "Adherence to the forest and veterinary officials' protocols, advice on cheetah introduction in India to Madhya Pradesh forest department and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on status of cheetah with respect to overall health, behaviour and upkeep," read an official statement.
5 points about the task force and the relevance:
1. The committee includes officials such as Retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Madhya Pradesh - Member, Alok Kumar, Dr Amit Mallick, Inspector General, NTCA, New Delhi - Member. Dr Vishnu Priya, Scientist, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun among others.
2. The committee - in-force for a period of two years - will also monitor hunting skills and adaptations of the Namibian cheetahs, along with monitoring their release from quarantine to soft release enclosures and then to grassland and open forest areas.
3. The committee - mandated to hold at least one meeting per month - will also be expected to form regulations and guidelines to open the cheetahs’ habitat to eco-tourism as well as developing tourism infrastructure in the fringe areas of Kuno National Park and other protected areas.
4. Additionally the committee will meet ‘Cheetah Mitras (friends)’ and regularly organise awareness programmes to involve the local communities in protection of cheetahs and the area in general.
5. In the 93rd episode of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat on September 25, he said that based on the task force’s recommendations, it will be further decided when people will be to see the cheetahs. Environment was a major focus of the PM's talk during the show where he also discussed the threat to marine life due to pollution and climate change.