Special task force to look after Cheetahs released in Kuno National Park
Bhopal, Oct 07: A special Cheetah task force (CTF) has been constituted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to monitor the conditions of the eight Cheetahs flown in from Namibia earlier this month. The eight cheetahs are currently kept in a quarantine zone, which the NTCA proposed to the Madhya Pradesh forest department via an order.
The nine-member STF, constituted by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on the orders of the NTCA, will be headed by Alok Kumar, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of Madhya Pradesh. The other members of the task force include Principal Secretary (forest and tourism), and wildlife experts from the NTCA and Wildlife Institution of India (WII), the statement reads.
The members of this task force will take the call on when to open up the cheetah habitat for eco-tourism and suggest regulations in this regard. It will advise on development of tourism infrastructure in the fringe areas of Kuno and other protected areas. It will also monitor release of cheetahs from small enclosures, known as 'bomas' to soft-release enclosures and then to grassland and open forest areas.
The cheetahs, which were declared extinct in the country in 1952, were reintroduced at Kuno National Park by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, which also happened to be his birthday. The successful transfer of Namibian cheetahs to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh also got a special mention during 93rd 'Mann ki Baat' by Prime Minister, who said that a task force has been set up to monitor the progress of cheetahs adapting to their new environment.
The PM also requested for patience, saying it will be several months before the cheetahs finally adapt and an assessment is made by the task force, only after which the government will take a call on whether Kuno National Park will be opened to the public.