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The last Indian/Asiatic cheetah was killed in 1947 in the jungles of central India. Now, with the country celebrating the 75th year of its Independence, the countdown has begun for the African cheetah to be introduced in Madhya Pradesh. After scouting for six sites across Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, an experts' committee had zeroed in on Kuno National Park, proposed for relocation of the Asiatic lions that shares similar habitat as cheetahs.
This has been a much-discussed project of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change. It was in January 2020 that the Supreme Court, while responding to an application by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), given "permission to reintroduce cheetahs from Africa to suitable sites in India."
Several meetings and field visits later, a team is now ready to visit Namibia very soon but the dates are yet to be finalized. The team will visit the southern African country for an assessment and then, a decision about exactly how and when the cheetahs can be brought here will be finalized,
Cheetahs share the territorial areas with tigers and like it, needs herbivore and large inviolate areas, and for the herbivores, there need to be ample grasslands. Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash
The Ministry's ADG, Wildlife, Dr. Soumitra Dasgupta told IANS: "We are targeting 8-10 cheetahs. There would be more females."
Cheetahs share the territorial areas with tigers and like it, needs herbivore and large inviolate areas, and for the herbivores, there need to be ample grasslands. "As and when the cheetahs arrive, it will be a soft release first. Only later, other batches would arrive," he said, adding that it will happen soon. The whole process from the team's visit to Africa to the cheetahs actually reaching India may take four to six months, a top Ministry official said. (Article from IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Cheetah, Forest, National Tiger Conservation Authority, Wildlife, Carnivorous
The definition of "ecological restoration" has been the subject of numerous controversies. While there are many different definitions for ecological restoration, it is commonly defined as "the act of returning a biotic community to a state of biological integrity as closely as possible". This phrase has varied meanings for various people on the other hand. It includes not only natural factors, but also cultural, social, historical, and political ones. Given how these factors differ in place, it's tough to come up with a definition that everyone can agree upon.
Restoration goals reflect society decisions among conflicting policy agendas, but obtaining them is sometimes divisive and politically difficult. Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash
The need of the hour becomes ecological restoration because the biotic community is interfered due to human activities or sometimes even exploited.
Ecological restoration is the activity of rejuvenating and rebuilding degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment via active human involvement and action.
Restoration goals reflect society decisions among conflicting policy agendas, but obtaining them is sometimes divisive and politically difficult.
For achieving ecological restoration there are several sorts of projects like regrowing of forests that have previously been cut down: Reforestation, Re-vegetation of area that have been disturbed, Improving habitat and range for targeted species, native species are being reintroduced and preventing the erosion of top layer of land: erosion control and so on.
The advantages of ecological restoration include sustainable development, creating a world for the next decade in which the relation between humane and environment is restored for the health and well-being for both now and in the future. It will minimize environmental deterioration.
Keywords: ecology, ecosystem, wildlife, sustainable, forests
A new study revealed on Thursday that Australian wildlife, including koalas, have been included on a list of hundreds of endangered native flora and fauna along with the main threats to their survival.
The study, published in the journal of Ecology and Evolution, was released on Thursday in an effort to kickstart emergency conservation efforts, reports Xinhua news agency. Data collected by the researchers, led by environmental scientists from the University of Queensland (UQ), has already been sent to federal and state authorities and conservation groups including Birdlife Australia, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the Nature Conservancy.
"This information can improve the conservation of some of Australia's most endangered plants and animals by providing conservation managers with more precise data to better direct their efforts," said Michelle Ward, a doctoral candidate at UQ's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the study's lead author.
Each species has been assessed on the basis of the scope, severity and timing of their threat which are then placed into "high," "medium," and "low" impact categories. Koalas are among 456 animals deemed as threatened. The beloved marsupial's threat level comes in at "medium," and it faces nine major challenges such as habitat loss, climate change, bush fires, predation by dingoes and wild dogs, disease, and harm from human activities.
Koalas are among 456 animals deemed as threatened.. Photo by Ellicia on Unsplash
Ward told Xinhua that having such a comprehensive list was vital to addressing each threat based on its severity while also preventing the compounding damage a variety of overlapping risks could inflict on a species. "Another one of our key findings was that species are not just impacted by one threat. They are usually impacted by three or four, sometimes 15 different threats," she said. "One great thing about our data set is that it tells users how severe a particular threat is for each species. This can help decision-makers prioritise their actions from the most severe to the least."
Ward said the most vital takeaway from the research was the huge impact habitat loss had on Australia's biodiversity and the urgency of government action to protect wildlife. "Australia has one of the worst species extinction rates in the world and we need to turn this around," she said.
"Given that the biggest threat to biodiversity is habitat loss, I think that it is critical for the Australian government to ensure habitat is retained."
(Article originally published at IANSlife) IANS/SS
Keywords: australia, koala, wildlife, Ecology, Evolution
Kenya has hailed its efforts to crack down on poaching as it released the results of the country's first-ever national wildlife census, calling the survey a vital weapon in its conservation battle.
According to the census released late Monday, the country has a total of 36,280 elephants, a 12% jump from the figures recorded in 2014, when poaching activity was at its highest.
"Efforts to increase penalties on crimes related to threatened species appear to be bearing fruits," the report, which counted 30 species of animals and covered nearly 59% of Kenya's land mass, said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warned in March that poaching and habitat destruction, particularly due to land conversion for agriculture, was devastating elephant numbers across Africa.
Giraffes are seen in the Loisaba conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya Image source: voavoa
The population of African savanna elephants plunged by at least 60% in the last half century, prompting their reclassification as "endangered" in the latest update to the IUCN's "Red List" of threatened species.
The census said the numbers of lions, zebras, hirolas (Hunter's antelopes) and the three species of giraffes found in the country had also gone up, but did not provide comparative figures from earlier years.
The state-funded survey counted 1,739 rhinos including two northern white rhinos, 897 critically endangered black rhinos and 840 southern white rhinos, and said the tourist magnet Maasai Mara National Reserve was home to nearly 40,000 wildebeest.
"Obtaining this level of information... allows for better policy, planning and assessment of areas that require focus in our interventions to maintain or improve our national conservation efforts," Wildlife Minister Najib Balala said in the report.
President Uhuru Kenyatta applauded conservation agencies for successfully clamping down on poaching and urged them to find newer, inventive approaches to protect wildlife.
"The reduction in losses in terms of elephants, rhinos and other endangered species is because of the great work that KWS [Kenya Wildlife Service], its officers and men are doing", he said late Monday.
Wildebeests are seen within the Kimana Sanctuary, part of a crucial wildlife corridor that links the Amboseli National Park to the Chyulu Hills and Savo protected areas, within the Amboseli ecosystem in Kimana, Kenya. Image source: voa voa
'Our children's legacy'
Special attention should be given to antelope species such as sable antelopes and mountain bongos which already number less than 100 each, the report said, warning that they could become extinct unless urgent action was taken. Exponential growth in human population and the accompanying rise in demand for land for settlement as well as activities such as livestock incursions, logging and charcoal burning are threatening to put brakes on the recent gains, it added.
Kenya, like several of its African peers, is trying to strike a balance between protecting its wildlife while managing the dangers they pose when they raid human settlements in search of food and water.
"[Wildlife] is our heritage, this is our children's legacy and it is important for us to be able to know what we have in order to be better informed on policy and also on actions needed as we move forward," Kenyatta said.
"It being a national heritage, it is something we should carry with pride", he added. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Africa, Wildlife Census, Kenya, Anti- Poaching