Five More Cheetahs To Be Released Into Wild At Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park Before Onset Of Monsoon

Five More Cheetahs To Be Released Into Wild At Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park Before Onset Of Monsoon

by Swarajya News Staff - Tuesday, May 9, 2023 02:55 PM IST
Five More Cheetahs To Be Released Into Wild At Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park Before Onset Of MonsoonCheetah (Representative Image)

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has announced that three female and two male cheetahs will be released from acclimatisation camps to free-ranging conditions at Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP) in June before the onset of the monsoon.

The ministry in a statement on Monday (7 May) also said that the adult South African cheetah, Uday, discovered dead at KNP on 23 April, died of cardio-pulmonary failure.

The ministry added that a detailed postmortem examination found that it did not suffer from any infectious disease that may affect other cheetahs. Uday died a week after being transferred from Boma (quarantine enclosure) the larger enclosure within KNP.

So far, four Namibian Cheetahs have been released from fenced acclimatisation camps in KNP.

The five animals, which have been selected for release in June, were chosen based on their behavioural characteristics and approachability by the monitoring teams, according to the statement.

The remaining ten cheetahs will continue to stay in acclimatisation camps throughout the monsoon season.

All the cheetahs are fitted with satellite collars that record their location twice a day - or more - depending upon the situation, reports Indian Express.

Monitoring teams have been employed to follow the released cheetahs 24x7 in rotating shifts.

The Ministry will review the situation when monsoon ends in September.

Following directions from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, a team of experts recently reviewed the status of "Project Cheetah", the ministry stated.

The Wildlife Institute of India's lead scientist, Qamar Qureshi, along with veterinary specialist, Prof Adrian Tordiffe from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Cheetah Metapopulation Project's manager Vincent van dan Merwe, and NTCA I-G Forests, Amit Mallick were part of the team that visited Kuno on 30 April to conduct the review.

According to the ministry, the team observed that it is “impossible to determine” the precise cheetah-carrying capacity at KNP “until cheetahs have properly established their home ranges’’.

Cheetah home-range sizes and population density, the report stated, can vary “tremendously for different cheetah populations in Africa, and for obvious reasons, we do not have useful spatial ecology data for cheetahs in India yet”.

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