Cheetah Mortalities in KUNO

  • Of the 20 translocated Cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia, five mortalities of adult individuals have been reported from Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh, till date.
Key Points: 
  • As per the preliminary analysis by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the apex body entrusted with the implementation of Project Cheetah, all mortalities are due to natural causes. 
Project Cheetah: 
  • Cheetah reintroduction: The Government of India has launched the ambitious project on bringing back Cheetahs to India. Under the Project, a total of 20 radio collared Cheetahs were brought from Namibia and South Africa to Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh, in a first ever transcontinental wild to wild translocation.
  • Implementing Agency: The Project Cheetah is being implemented by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in collaboration with Madhya Pradesh Forest Department, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Cheetah experts from Namibia and South Africa.
Asiatic Cheetah:
  • Fastest land mammal: It is the fastest land mammal and the only cat without retractable claws — the grip helps it accelerate faster than any sports car (0-100 km/hr in 3 seconds).
  • Physical features: Cheetahs have a relatively small, rounded head in proportion to their body size.
  • Camouflage: The most recognizable feature of a cheetah is its coat, which is adorned with a pattern of round or oval-shaped spots, known as rosettes. These spots serve as camouflage in their natural habitats.
  • Extinctions from India: In 1952, the cheetah was officially declared extinct from India
  • Lifespan: Cheetahs in the wild (both male and female combined) have an average age span of 10 – 12 years.
  • Gestation: The gestation (pregnancy) period for the cheetah is 93 days.
  • IUCN status: The asiatic cheetah is listed as Critically Endangered species by the IUCN Red List surviving only in Iran.
Comparison From African Cheetah:
  • Distribution: The African cheetah is spread out across Africa from Northwest Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa while asiatic cheetah left only in Iran.
  • Size: The Asiatic cheetah is slightly smaller and slender than the African cheetah. The neck is much smaller and longer. Their legs are also slender. African cheetahs, on the other hand, have a slightly bigger build with sturdier legs and necks. Their heads are also bigger compared side by side with the Asiatic cheetahs.
  • Population: There are about 10,000 of them left in the African wild. The Asiatic cheetah, on the other hand, is listed as a critically endangered animal with less than 100 individuals left in the wild in Iran.
News Source: pib

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