March 20, 2023
  • 12 Cheetah from South Africa are expected to arrive by February-March 2023. Earlier in September 2022. KNP had received eight cheetahs from Namibia.
  • Project Cheetah, approved by Supreme Court in 2020 aims to reintroduce atleast 50 cheetahs over next five years.
  • It is world’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project.
  • National Tiger Conservation Authority is nodal agency authorized lot funding and supervision of project.

Significance of Cheetah restoration

  • Restoring open forest and grassland ecosystems in India.
  • Conserve biodiversity and enhance ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration etc.
  • Enhanced livelihood opportunities for local community through eco-development and ecotourism activities.
  • Cheetah is a keystone species (organism that helps define an entire ecosystem) of dry forests, scrub forests, and savannahs.
  • It is the only large wild mammalian species that went extinct from India.
  • Protected Under Appendix I of CITES.
  • IUCN status: African Cheetah (Vulnerable) and Asiatic Cheetah (Critically endangered)
  • Major Cheetah range countries: Namibia. Botswana. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya in Africa, and Iran and India in Asia.

Kuno National Park

  • KNP is situated in Vlndhyan Hills in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It falls under Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forest eco-region and vegetation is dominated by Kardhai, Khan and Saki trees.
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