MP Kuno National Park: A former Wildlife Institute of India (WII) official has claimed that Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park does not have enough space for cheetahs brought from Africa. Actually, lines of concern have started to be drawn about the death of two cheetahs within a month. This National Park is spread over an area of 748 square kilometers, out of which 487 square kilometers comes in the buffer zone. Experts are of the opinion that a cheetah needs about 100 square kilometers for its movement.
According to news agency PTI, former dean of WII Yadvendradev Vikram Singh Jhala has said, “There is insufficient space for these animals in Kuno National Park. Although adapted to the larger landscape in the Coon, cheetahs can thrive here. Which includes agricultural part, wild habitat and other animals living within the area. They also suggested that it is important to establish multiple populations managed as metapopulations, where animals are moved from one place to another.
‘It is necessary to establish second, third population’
He said, “An area of only 750 square kilometers is not enough. We have to create (more than one) population of cheetahs and manage it like a metapopulation. Where you can take animals from one place to another. It is very important to establish the second, third population.
Vikramsinh Jhala further added, “So, it depends on how you manage the communities, ecotourism, incentivize them, make sure (human-animal) conflict levels are being compensated appropriately Or not.”
Talking about it, he said, “Shifting of two generations one after the other is called metapopulation. In which there are one or three leopards. So that genetic exchange continues. This is an important exercise. Without this we cannot manage cheetahs in our country. KNP is a site for this. Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve is a site in Rajasthan, Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary and Nairadehi Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Not every one of these sites is capable on its own.”
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