Kuno Park unsuitable to host all 20 cheetahs, not enough prey, says scientist

Source: The post is based on the article “Kuno Park unsuitable to host all 20 cheetahs, not enough prey, says scientist” published in The Hindu on 4th March 2023.

What is the News?

The Kuno National Park(KNP) in Madhya Pradesh which currently hosts 20 cheetahs brought in from Africa, does not have enough prey to sustain all the animals.

What is Kuno National Park?

Kuno National Park is a national park in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh(MP).

It was 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.

Kuno River, a tributary of the Chambal River flows through the National Park.

Eight cheetahs from Namibia and 12 from South Africa were transported to India and introduced at Kuno National Park(KNP).

Why is Kuno National Park(KNP) unsuitable to host all 20 cheetahs?

Lack of sufficient prey in Kuno National Park(KNP) was a “concerning” situation.

In KNP, chital is the most abundant prey for carnivorous species. At present, there are about 20 chital — the cheetah’s main prey — per square kilometre available at the KNP, a sharp decline from the nearly 60 chitals per square km that could be found in the park in 2014.

This amount of chitals would sustain maximum of 15 Cheetahs and the other 5 should have been shifted elsewhere.

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