Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary

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    In Context

    • 70 years after the cheetah’s extinction, the Indian government is planning to introduce them in the Kuno wildlife sanctuary.

    About

    • Kuno National Park is a national park in MP established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary. In 2018, it was given the status of a national park. It is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests.
    • KunoPalpur Wildlife Sanctuary is underway to become India’s second home for the Asiatic lion.

    Background

    • India and Namibia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently to reintroduce the African cheetah in India
    • The Asiatic cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952 and is a critically endangered species surviving only in Iran. In 1947, there were confirmed records of the cheetah’s presence in India, but the three surviving males were gunned down by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Surguja state in what is now Guru Ghasidas National Park in Chhattisgarh.
    • The Union government has been attempting to reintroduce cheetahs in India since the 1960s and the 1970s.

    Cheetahs

    • About:
      • The cheetah is one of the oldest of the big cat species, with ancestors that can be traced back more than five million years to the Miocene era.
      • world’s fastest land mammal that lives in Africa and Asia.
    • Reasons for extinction in India:
      • Human-wildlife conflict, loss of habitat and loss of prey, and illegal trafficking.
    • African Cheetah:
      • Scientific Name: Acinonyx jubatus jubatus
      • Habitat: African Savannahs
      • Characteristics: They are bigger in size as compared to Asiatic Cheetah.
      • Conservation Status: 
        • IUCN status: Vulnerable 
        • CITES Appendix I
    • Asiatic Cheetah:
      • Characteristics: Smaller and paler than the African cheetah.
      • IUCN status: Critically Endangered
      • Status in India: Declared extinct in India in 1952
      • Distribution: Only 40-50 and found only in Iran.

    Source: IE