In an effort to preserve biodiversity and revitalise ecosystems, translocations or designed reallocations of certain endangered species have become more prevalent. As can be seen in the case of India, which is attempting to bring back a piece of its lost living legacy by conserving the cheetah population. The number of cheetahs in India was so plentiful that the numbers stretched across Jaipur, Lucknow and Mysore. But they went nearly extinct during the mid-19th century in post-independence India. The reason behind their extinction can be attributed to many factors, such as overhunting, desertification or deforestation of their natural habits and even domestication of this particular big cat species. In fact, the famous Mughal emperor Akbar alone was known to have a field full of around a thousand of these spotted big cats.
However, today we are aware of the need for ecological conservation and hence the need to conserve the highly endangered species of cheetahs. This awareness has led to the implementation of a reintroduction plan for cheetahs back into the Indian subcontinent. Careful consideration has been given to every facet of this project, with the IUCN Reintroduction Group preparing its recommendations for conservation practitioners. The action plan for the introduction of the cheetah in India tackles each of them in a realistic and scientific way, despite the fact that it is very unlikely that all of these features would be addressed in real-life settings.
This paper emphasises India's readiness to resume cheetah conservation efforts. It also gives us an insight into the reason behind the extinction of cheetahs and the way ahead as per the plan for the re-introduction of cheetahs. This paper also seeks to analyse the implications after the re-introduction of cheetahs into the Indian subcontinent for different facets of the country, especially tourism, employment and the ecological changes it might spring upon.