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Cheetah Reintroduction

Why is it in the news?

  • The central government has approved the establishment of a cheetah conservation breeding centre in Banni grasslands of Kutch district, Gujarat, as part of Project Cheetah.


Project Cheetah

·       Aims to reintroduce a self-sustaining population of cheetahs in India, where they became extinct in the 1950s.

·       World’s first intercontinental large wild carnivore translocation project.

·       20 cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa were introduced in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

·       The breeding centre in Gujarat allows the potential roaming of cheetahs brought from Africa in the Banni grasslands.


Banni Grassland

·       Spans 2,618 km², representing nearly 45% of Gujarat’s grazing land.

·       Largest grassland in Asia.

·       Combination of wetlands and grasslands.

·       Sparse growth dominated by low forbs and graminoids, including salt-tolerant varieties.

·       Scattered trees and scrub.

·       Rich biodiversity with 192 species of plants, 273 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

·       Designated as a reserve forest in 1955.

·       In 2019, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) demarcated boundaries and restricted non-forest activities.


Maldhari Tribe

·       Inhabits the Gir National Park in the Banni Grasslands Reserve area.

·       In 2021, the NGT acknowledged the Maldharis’ right to conserve community forests in the Banni Grasslands area under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

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