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Cheetah Reintroduction in India

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African cheetah, leopard and hyena will come to Kuno by March-April, the team came to apply caller ID

The roar of South African cheetahs was to be heard in the Kuno-Palpur National Park by November 2021, but severe floods in August slowed down the pace of construction of cheetah enclosures (with 8 feet of iron net). Omicron stopped the team going for the final deal to bring cheetahs in November. In such a situation, now the roar of African cheetahs will be heard in Kuno only in the month of March-April. 

Let us inform here that preparations are going on for cheetahs in Kuno-Palpur National Park since November 2020. Seeing the way preparations were going on for the arrival of cheetahs in the past, it was felt that by November 2021, the roar of cheetahs would be heard in Kuno. But due to the floods in the month of August, the Kuno river was in spate, along with breaking the roads at many places in the park, the ramp built on the river was also washed away. The management had made a temporary report along with making the way at its level. Inside the park, an 8-feet high fence has been built in an area of five square km. The upper body is followed by a 2.9 mm Y-shaped facing along with three levels of (3-3 and 2) core protection. Solar fencing system is provided at the outer end of the enclosure to prevent outside animals from entering. The important thing about the system is that whenever a wildlife or hunter touches it, it will get a shock of the current. This will not kill his life, But he will definitely be afraid to go near Solar Facing again. According to Kuno DFO, this work has been done 98 percent. 

Cheetah's roar will be heard in March-April

According to Kuno DFO PK Verma, almost all the preparations to bring cheetahs to the park are in the final stages. The team going to Africa in November will now probably leave in the first week of February. While the second team will leave in the last week. According to the management, now there is every possibility of African cheetah coming to Kuno by March-April 2022.  

-Seeing Activities of Leopard and Hyena 

There are also large numbers of leopards and hyenas in Kuno Park. Experts from Wildlife Institute of India Dehradun have arrived in Kuno five days ago. The team will put a radio call to Leopard and Hyena to research how Leopard and Hyena are living in the park. You will know about their living habits and hunting by their movements, gestures. So that the cheetahs do not get any harm from the leopard, they will prepare such a strategy. The DFO says that after the arrival of African cheetahs, caller ID will be installed in them too. So that it can be known whether the cheetah has eaten food after hunting or not.

Cheetals will come from Madhav Park to hunt for cheetahs 

According to Kuno DFO Verma, about 10 thousand cheetals will be brought to Kuno from Madhav National Park in Shivpuri for the food of African cheetahs. However, instead of bringing these cheetals together, they will be brought in 25 to 30 times as per the need. They will be released in the number of two to four in the cheetah enclosure. So that cheetahs can hunt cheetal when they are hungry and eat it. Although there are already more than 28 thousand cheetals in Kuno, but when the cheetahs get used to living in the environment here, 6 cheetahs will be released in the wild. With which he will be able to hunt cheetal, sambar etc. already present in Kuno. Male and female cheetahs will be kept in the shed for breeding. 

-748.7618 Sq. Kilometers is spread over Kuno Park

Kuno Century came into existence in the year 1996. Its area was earlier 344.686 square kilometer. In September 2016, a proposal was sent to the MP government. In this, there was a demand to give the status of National Park to Kuno. After this the area of Kuno has been increased to 404.0758 square kilometer. That is, the area of Kuno was now 748.7618 square kilometers. 

The first flood and then the Omicron variant have become a hindrance in bringing African cheetahs to Kuno, but are making full preparations for the arrival of cheetahs in March-April 2022. In a month, the watch tower, CCTV cameras and other works will be completed completely.

PK Verma, DFO, Kuno-Palpur National Park Sheopur 

Translated from google
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India is all set to get cheetah back in its jungles, 50 to arrive in next 5 years 

NEW DELHI: The cheetah that became extinct in independent India is all set to return, said environment minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday when his ministry preparing to translocate the first batch of eight from South Africa and Namibia to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh soon after the situation linked to the current third wave of Covid-19 becomes normal, and total 50 in various parks over a period of five years. 

Yadav while unveiling an action plan for reintroduction of cheetah in the country at the 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) noted that the plan was to reintroduce cheetah in 2021, but the Covid-19's second wave delayed it. 

India has plans to reintroduce cheetahs at the Kuno National Park in Sheopur and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior-Chambal region, 70 years after the animal was officially declared extinct in India, in what could be the world’s first inter-continental cheetah translocation project. The country will get 12 to 15 cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia by the end of this year.
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Cheetahs Could Be Sighted In Rajasthan’s Shergarh Sanctuary Soon

India’s last cheetah died in Chhattisgarh in 1947 and after that it was declared extinct in the country in 1952. But now there’s a positive turn as cheetahs would be sighted soon in the country once again. There is a plan to introduce African cheetahs in the Baran district of Rajasthan. Naturally rich and famous for its Shergarh Sanctuary and Shahbad’s dense forests, Baran district is all set to become the home for cheetahs if everything goes as planned.

A wildlife team recently visited the district to take stock of the situation. The team visited Shergarh Sanctuary and also the nearby Kuno Palpur sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. After survey, it was decided to release the cheetahs at Kuno Palpur first and work was started. It is expected that once they are released in Kuno Palpur, the cheetahs will also visit the nearby Shergarh Sanctuary.

A large number of tourists visit Shergarh Sanctuary. The sanctuary, which is home to three leopards, is also considered a suitable place for cheetahs. The conditions here, such as grasslands, rivers etc., are favorable for the cheetah.

Talking to Indian Masterminds, District Magistrate Rajendra Vijay said, “Shergarh area is very suitable for cheetah, and we have developed an eco-sensitive area for it. We believe that this is the best suitable place for a cheetah. That’s why wildlife people are working on it, and you may see African cheetahs here in the future. Apart from this, we have a lot of tourism potential here. Tribal tourism is very prominent as the Sahariya tribe lives here. Agro and eco tourismare also major thrust areas.”

The sanctuary now has three leopards. One male and two females. Other than leopards, the sanctuary is also home to crocodile, jarak, fox, black deer, chinkara etc. A boundary wall was recently constructed for the protection of the wildlife. 

DFO V Chetan Kumar told Indian Masterminds: “A wildlife team had come to Shergarh as this area is considered very good for cheetahs. And this is the area adjacent to Kuno Palpur of MP. Presently the team has already started work in Kuno Palpur and the in future, African Cheetahs can be seen in Shergarh also. This initiative is still in the initial stage. Hopefully some good results will come out soon.” 


Talking to the media, ACF Anurag Bhatnagar said that the boundary of an eco-sensitive zone is being determined in the Shergarh Sanctuary. It will cover an area of about 332 sq km. It is expected that this will create avenues for employment by boosting tourism. 


Recently,the Environment ministry unveiled its plan to introduce 50 cheetahs in Indian forests over the next five years. Cheetahs will be introduced in Indian forests 70 years after they went extinct. The Environment Minister showcased a plan for the introduction of Cheetah in India at the 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

As per the action plan, a cohort of around 10-12 young cheetahs that are ideal for reintroduction shall be imported from Namibia or South Africa. Minister Bhupendra Singh said that the PM is very much interested in the protection and conservation of seven major big cats, including cheetah. The Supreme Court has also given its stamp of approval on the plan to introduce African cheetahs to suitable habitats in India on an experimental basis.
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Once upon a time, Vidarbha was habitat of Cheetah

By Kartik Lokhande :

With the release of the report ‘Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India’ by Wildlife Institute of India, National Tiger Conservation Authority, and Madhya Pradesh Forest Department, much is being talked about reintroduction of Cheetah in India. Though the Cheetah is proposed to be reintroduced in Kuno National Park, the report offers historical insight about the animal and brings out that Vidarbha region of Maharashtra was a habitat for Cheetah at least 131 years ago. Examining the chronolgy of extinction, the report estimates that India had 414 Cheetahs. As far as Vidarbha region is concerned, the report cites an account by Burton (1920) in which it was mentioned that three Cheetah skins were seen in Melghat forest. As per the records available so far, this mention from the year 1890 appears to be the oldest recorded presence of Cheetah in Vidarbha region. The same year, one Cheetah was shot in Akola, as per the account by King Martin (1935).

King Martin’s account also mentioned that Cheetah ‘lived, bred, preyed on antelope and gazelle, trapped by villagers and upcountry rajas’ in 1892 in Akola district. Two or three Cheetahs were seen and one was shot in 1894 in Dhamangaon as per Burton’s account of 1920. The same year, one Cheetah was shot in Melghat forests. Later on, in 1896, two Cheetah cubs were found and reared in Berar (now Amravati Division), as per the account of Rodon (1897). Between 1903 and 1923, three cheetahs were ‘procured’ and cheetahs were ‘negligible in number’ in Central Provinces (comprising Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh), states the latest report citing the account of Dunbar Brander (1923). In 1912, one Cheetah was reported in Buldana district, with its mate ‘believed trapped by Pardhis’ and ‘only tracks seen’. Interestingly, Cheetah was present in Nagpur and Yavatmal districts too of Vidarbha.


The latest report cites a June 1916 record of ‘IOL Agriculture and Forests’ mention of ‘permission to trap Cheetah for Nizam, Hyderabad’. However, details are not available as ‘The file is missing in the National Archives of India’. There are other mentions of presence of Cheetahs in Central provinces in 1919 and 1920 too. The latest report cautions that Cheetah’s story in Asia ‘may well be ending’, ‘unless they are reintroduced into India from Africa’. It tries to look into the causes of disappearance of Cheetah from Indian landscape. According to the report, Cheetahs in their most preferred habitat such as grasslands and semi-arid tracts of Kathiawar (Saurashtra, Gujarat) and elsewhere ‘came under severe pressure earlier than those found on the edges of forests, including sal forests and grassy glades within them in Central India’.


“During this period, Cheetahs were subjected to their being taken from the wild for coursing blackbuck by Pardhi tribals and others for their princely patrons. That apart, they were also being targeted by British and Indian ‘sportsmen’,” the report adds. It quotes Prof Mahesh Rangarajan’s research pointing out that the administrative policy of British India “played a major role in its extinction”. The British government of the time ‘gave rewards for destruction of not only adult Cheetahs, but also for their cubs from about 1871 onwards’. 

Cheetah can be reintroduced in Vid, but consider ecological history’ Kaustubh Pandharipande, Director, Foundation for Economic and Ecological Development, has conducted an in-depth study of the grasslands of Vidarbha region. According to him, Cheetah can be reintroduced in Vidarbha but the ecological history of the region has to be taken into account. “Particularly the western part of Vidarbha region had good grasslands long ago. These grasslands were an important part of the region’s ecology and formed the habitat for Cheetah, Lesser Florican, Great Indian Bustard etc,” Pandharipande told ‘The Hitavada’. However, the British treated those as wastelands. For, they considered grasslands as of no use for revenue-earning purposes. Gradually, these grasslands were put to revenue-yielding use and were converted into agricultural lands. In years that followed, Vidarbha became a ‘cotton belt’. “However, the adverse impact on grasslands also led to disappearance of Cheetahs and other species from this region,” he added. As far as present situation is concerned, Pandharipande said, Cheetah can be reintroduced in Vidarbha region. “For the purpose, Forest Department will have to factor in ecological history of the region, conduct deeper study of habitat, and rope in all stakeholders including local communities. Else, reintroduction without attention to details may just lead to man-animal conflict particularly in western Vidarbha,” he observed.



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