News around you

Government in talks to bring Kenyan cheetahs to MP

As per sources, the government is making arrangements, including fencing 80 sq km of land at Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary to house East African cheetahs

Screenshot 2024 05 06 091523NEW DELHI: With Project Cheetah facing criticism after seven cheetahs brought to India from Namibia and South Africa died at Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park, the Centre is in talks with the Kenyan government to bring a fresh batch of cheetahs to the country, this time a different ‘sub-species’.

As per sources, the government is making arrangements, including fencing 80 sq km of land at Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh to house East African cheetahs, known scientifically as acinonyx jubatus raineyi.

They are different from acinonyx jubatus jubatus or the South African cheetahs that were brought to India from South Africa and Namibia.

However, experts have raised concerns. They point to the government’s Cheetah Action Plan (CAP) which underlines that cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia are best suited for transport and re-introduction to habitats in India rather than other cheetah subspecies.

They say the CAP has no mention of the landscape required for free-ranging cheetahs. Arjun Gopalswamy, a wildlife and statistical ecologist, said CAP overestimated the carrying capacity of free-ranging cheetahs in Kuno. He added that an iconic, prey-rich ecosystem like Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, harbours only 18-24 cheetahs over 2400 sq km. Kuno National Park has an area of 750 sq km.

There is also fear of mixing up two sub-species on the same landscape.“I fear Madhya Pradesh’s similar landscape would increase the chance of mixing up the two species as Kuno’s Cheetahs keep straying out regularly and cover a long distance to reach other forests,” he said.

You might also like

Comments are closed.