The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the Cheetah Reintroduction Programme by which the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had proposed to import the African large-sized feline to India, without consulting that National Board for Wildlife (NBW) which is a statutory body for the enforcement of the wild life law.
The court, while pronouncing its order, took note of the scientific studies, which showed that the Asian cheetahs and African cheetahs are completely different, both genetically and also in their characteristics. reintroduction of Cheetah was also against the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines on translocation of wildlife species.
Wild life sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh and Rajsthan were slated to be the two spots where the imported Cheetahs were to be kept. The big cats were hunted to extinction from India decades ago, conservationists say that fewer than 100 of cheetahs remain in Iran while the vast majority of the 10000 cheetahs left in the world are in Africa.