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How does it work?

Cheetah may regulate the overgrowing herbivores in its enclosure and save the vegetation to a limited extent. Global warming and climate change have already endangered many herbivores and reptiles. Cheetah alone cannot balance the biodiversity even after putting in an enormous challenge to save the wild cat from extinction once more.   

Life of a single species on earth is impossible because biodiversity is the dynamic nature of the planet. Lives thrive on earth because of this inherent nature. One depends on the other for a living; we call it interdependence. The logic is simple. A positive does not have an identity if a negative does not exist and vis-à-vis. There is no balance without a counterweight. 

Life and creation go on smoothly with a balance only if there is a perfect ecological balance; so are birth and death as two inevitable ends of bio-mechanism. One species’ overgrowth makes its survival impossible, thanks to the imbalance. Perhaps, we cannot make out any disruption instantly in the balance, though the long-term impact of it may be heavier than we fear. When the combined disturbances grow, the inevitable result of it becomes disastrous. It is this the new world now suffers. And this is what keeps the world profusely worrying. Somewhere we have to begin the balancing. Where voluntarily we never do, the government has to do it. 

The last ruler of the Koriya princely state (now in Chhattisgarh), Ramanuj Saran Singh Deo shot down the last cheetah 74 years ago. India declared that the fastest land animal became extinct four years after the final shooting. Since the government began to hunt alive, it went shopping in Iran and southern African countries. Finally, a transcontinental translocation of eight cheetahs arrived in India. This endangered mammal with significant genetic depletion on earth is vulnerable to extinction on any infection. Its breeding is very complicated, especially captive breeding, say wildlife scientists. Still, India is keen to have them in the wildlife portfolio to support the ecological balance. 

How do the cheetahs contribute to the ecological balance? The carnivore eats only herbivores. Herbivores overgrow to strain the vegetation and, to some extent, agriculture. The uncontrolled growth of herbivores, which love trees and plants, brings a significant impact on the expansion of vegetation. The depleting vegetation due to the herbivores’ dependence on it leads to soil erosion, water conservation, etc. The predators feeding on them regulate the overgrowth of herbivores. Where the birth and cub survival rates are abysmally poor this environmental equation works wisely. We can only wish the eight Namibian guests, who require baby care, all the best.    

Global warming already weighs heavily on the growth of vegetation. Continental Europe and North America give us a lesson. The unseasonal flooding of the places where flooding never happens looms as a new threat. Without predators, the overgrowing herbivores get washed away along with millions of reptiles. Fire and water leave nothing in their way. The much-celebrated wildlife protection cannot be immune to the rage of the two holy elements. Let the coalitions of cheetahs contribute to the ecological balancing and growth of the wildlife tourism business. But let us not be unaware of other threats.

Udaykumar KV
Udaykumar KV

Udaykumar KV

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