Saturday, May 6, 2023

Kuno National Park

Kuno National Park UPSC

Kuno National Park, also known as Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, is a national park located in Madhya Pradesh, India. Kuno National Park is named after the Kuno River, which flow through the park.


One of the main conservation efforts in Kuno National Park is the reintroduction of the Cheetah. The park was identified as a potential reintroduction site for the Cheetah.


The park's habitat consists of dry deciduous forests, open grasslands, and rocky hills. It supports a variety of wildlife, including species like leopards, sloth bears, striped hyenas, wild boars, antelopes, and a rich birdlife. 


Table of Contents

  • Kuno National Park Location
  • Kuno National Park History
  • Kuno National Park Area
  • Kuno National Park Hills
    • Vindhyan Hills
  • Kuno National Park River
    • Kuno River
  • Kuno National Park Tribe
  • Kuno National Park Flora
    • Dry Deciduous Forests
    • Grasslands
    • Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
    • Riverine Vegetation
  • Kuno National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Kuno National Park Cheetah
    • Project Cheetah
  • Kuno National Park Asiatic Lion
    • Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project
  • Top Things to do in Kuno National Park
  • Kuno National Park UPSC Questions


Kuno National Park Location

Kuno National Park is located in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is situated in the Vindhyan Hills, which are part of the larger Vindhya Range. It is situated in the central part of the country, near the border with the state of Rajasthan. 


The park is approximately 170 kilometers (105 miles) south-east of Gwalior, a major city in Madhya Pradesh. The nearest town to Kuno National Park is Sheopur, which is about 15 kilometers (9 miles) away. 


Kuno National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Kuno National Park is Gwalior Airport (Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia Airport) in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. It is the most convenient airport for reaching Kuno National Park, located approximately 170 kilometers (105 miles) away. From Gwalior Airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the national park.


Kuno National Park Nearest Railway Station:

Gwalior is the nearest railway station to Kuno National Park, which is 160 kms away. It is well-connected to various cities in India. From Gwalior Junction, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the national park.




Kuno National Park History

The history of Kuno National Park can be traced back to the efforts of conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts to protect and restore wildlife in the region. 


Establishment as a Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1981, Kuno National Park was established as a wildlife sanctuary protected area in the Sheopur and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh, India. Initially spanning an area of 344.686 square kilometers (133.084 square miles), it aimed to preserve the region's biodiversity and provide a habitat for various wildlife species.


Upgradation to Kuno National Park: In 2018, Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary received official recognition as Kuno National Park. This upgrade brought enhanced protection and conservation measures to safeguard the diverse flora and fauna residing within its boundaries. The new designation reinforced the park's significance as a vital ecological asset in Madhya Pradesh.




Kuno National Park Area

Kuno National Park covers an approximate area of 344 square kilometers (133 square miles). It is spread across the Vindhya Range of hills and consists of various ecosystems, including dry deciduous forests, open grasslands, and rocky hills. 


This expansive area provides a diverse habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna, contributing to the conservation efforts and ecological significance of Kuno National Park.




Kuno National Park Hills

Kuno National Park is situated in the Vindhya Range of hills in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh, India. These hills are a prominent geographical feature within the park, adding to its scenic beauty and ecological diversity. The hills in Kuno National Park are primarily characterized by rocky outcrops and rugged terrain, providing a varied landscape for wildlife and vegetation.


The hills in Kuno National Park, combined with the adjacent dry deciduous forests and open grasslands, form a unique ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife. The hilly terrain adds to the charm and natural appeal of Kuno National Park, making it an attractive destination for nature enthusiasts, researchers, and wildlife lovers.




Kuno National Park River

The Kuno river flows through Kuno National Park from South to north. It is a lifeline for the Kuno National Park's diverse flora and fauna. The river plays a crucial role in sustaining the diverse ecosystem of the park by offering water for drinking, bathing, and other essential activities for wildlife.


Kuno River:

  • The Kuno River originates in The Vindhya Range of Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh, India. 
  • The river passing through Guna, Shivpuri, Baran, Sheopur And Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh, India.
  • Kuno river meets Chambal river in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh, India.
  • The Kuno river flows through a Hilly and forested region.
  • Kudikheda, Lankakhoh, Durredi and Aamkhoh river are tributaries of Kuno river.




Kuno National Park Tribe

Kuno National Park and its surrounding areas are inhabited by various indigenous tribal communities. The predominant communities in the area are Sahariyas, Gujjars and Yadavs. The main livelihoods of people are agriculture, pastoralism, casual labor and collection of non-timber forest products.


People of Moghiya and Bhil tribes, well-known for their hunting abilities, reside in low numbers amongst the fringe villages. It's worth noting that the presence of indigenous tribes adds to the cultural richness and diversity of the area surrounding Kuno National Park. 




Kuno National Park Flora

Kuno National Park is characterized by a diverse range of flora due to its varied habitats, which include dry deciduous forests, grasslands, and hilly terrain. 


(1) Dry Deciduous Forests:

The park is predominantly covered by dry deciduous forests, which are composed of trees that shed their leaves during the dry season. These forests are home to species such as teak (Tectona grandis), tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), dhawada (Anogeissus latifolia), salai (Boswellia serrata), palash (Butea monosperma), and babul (Acacia nilotica). These trees provide habitat, food, and shelter for a variety of wildlife species.


(2) Grasslands:

Kuno National Park also encompasses vast stretches of open grasslands, which are interspersed with scattered trees and shrubs. The grasslands support species such as spear grass (Imperata cylindrica), elephant grass (Saccharum ravennae), and various other grasses and herbaceous plants. These grasslands serve as grazing grounds for herbivores and provide nesting sites for ground-dwelling bird species.


(3) Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: 

The park is known to harbor several medicinal and aromatic plants. These include plants like ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), amla (Phyllanthus emblica), guggul (Commiphora wightii), safed musli (Chlorophytum borivilianum), and many more. These plants have traditional medicinal uses and are valued for their therapeutic properties.


(4) Riverine Vegetation:

Along the banks of the Kuno River and other water bodies in the park, a unique riparian vegetation can be found. This vegetation includes species like bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), kadam (Neolamarckia cadamba), jamun (Syzygium cumini), and various other trees and shrubs that thrive in the proximity of water sources.




Kuno National Park Fauna (Kuno National Park Animals)

Kuno National Park is known for its diverse and vibrant wildlife. The park is home to a wide range of animal species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and more. Here are some notable examples of the fauna found in Kuno National Park:


Mammals:

  • Cheetah
  • Indian Leopard
  • Jungle Cat
  • Sloth Bear
  • Dhole
  • Indian Wolf
  • Indian Jackal
  • Striped Hyena
  • Bengal Fox
  • Chital
  • Sambar
  • Nilgai
  • Chousingha
  • Chinkara
  • Blackbuck
  • Wild Boar
  • Indian Grey Mongoose
  • Ruddy Mongoose
  • Small Indian Mongoose
  • Honey Badger
  • Gray Langur
  • Indian Crested Porcupine 
  • Indian Hare


Birds:

  • Indian White-backed Vulture
  • Long-billed Vulture
  • Red-headed Vulture
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Crested Serpent-eagle
  • Short-toed Snake Eagle
  • Bonelli's Eagle
  • White-eyed Buzzard
  • Changeable Hawk-eagle
  • Brown Fish Owl
  • Spotted Owlet 
  • Black-shouldered Kite
  • Painted Spurfowl
  • Ruddy Shelduck
  • Indian Peafowl
  • Grey Francolin
  • Eurasian Nightjar
  • Jungle Nightjar
  • Indian Nightjar
  • Painted Sandgrouse
  • Woolly-necked Stork
  • Great Stone-curlew
  • Sirkeer Malkoha
  • Indian Golden Oriole
  • Black-rumped Flameback
  • Bay-backed Shrike
  • Indian Paradise Flycatcher


Reptiles:

  • Mugger Crocodile
  • Gharial
  • Bengal Monitor
  • Indian Softshell Turtle




Kuno National Park Cheetah (Project Cheetah)

Asiatic Cheetahs is a critically endangered species surviving only in Iran. Cheetahs once roamed in the northern plains of India. 


In 1947, there were confirmed records of the cheetah’s presence in India. But because of hunting, the Asiatic cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952.


The Union government of India has been attempting to reintroduce cheetahs in India since the 1960s and the 1970s. Kuno National Park was selected under ‘Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India’. It is a World's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project.



Why Kuno National Park selected for Cheetah?

The natural habitat of the Asiatic cheetah consists of vast arid and semi-arid landscapes, including desert plains, scrublands, and mountainous regions. These habitats provide the cheetahs with the necessary resources for survival, such as prey availability and suitable cover for hunting and resting.


Kuno has one of the most unique combination of forest, plains, scrublands, and mountainous regions. Based on the assessments of Wildlife Institute of India and Wildlife Trust of India, the Kuno National Park was found suitable for the cheetahs due to its climatic condition, vegetation, prey densities, population of competing predators.


Moreover, Kuno National Park is probably one of the few wildlife sites where there has been a complete relocation of villages and there is no human settlement in sight. 



How many Cheetah in Kuno National Park?

There was 20 cheetahs in Kuno National Park. 8 cheetahs from Namibia and 12 from South Africa were transported to India between September 2022 and February 2023 as part of an initiative to reintroduce the cheetahs to India.


On September 17, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released 8 cheetahs brought from Namibia into the Kuno Palpur National Park. These include 3 male cheetahs and 5 female cheetahs.


On February 18, 2023, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan released 12 cheetahs brought from South Africa into the Kuno Palpur National Park. These include 7 male cheetahs and 5 female cheetahs.


On March 27, 2023, Out of 20, one female Namibian cheetah, Sasha, died of kidney-related aliment. So, now 19 cheetahs and four newborn cubs are living at Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park. 


On March, 2023, Siyaya (New name Jwala) gave birth to four cubs.



Name of Cheetah in Kuno National Park?

Eight cheetahs arrived from Namibia, which are named as-

  • Freddie
  • Elton
  • Obaan
  • Sasha
  • Siyaya
  • Savannah
  • Tbilisi
  • Asha


All the 19 cheetahs at Kuno National Park (KNP) will now be known by their new names as they have been given Indian names.


8 cheetahs arrived from Namibia, which are renamed as-

  • Pavan (Obaan)
  • Gaurav (Elton)
  • Shaurya (Freddy)
  • Jwala (Siyaya)
  • Nabha (Savannah)
  • Dharti (Tiblisi)
  • Ashaa (Asha)


12 cheetahs arrived from South Africa, which are renamed as-

  • Daksha
  • Nirva
  • Vayu
  • Agni
  • Gamini
  • Tejas
  • Veera
  • Suraj
  • Dheera
  • Uday
  • Prabhas
  • Pavak




Kuno National Park Asiatic Lion (Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project)

Kuno National Park has been selected as a potential reintroduction site for the Asiatic lion. The Kuno National Park has gained attention for its efforts to establish a second population of Asiatic lions in India, as a means of ensuring their long-term survival.


The Asiatic lion is a subspecies of lion that is native to the Indian subcontinent. Historically, it roamed across a wide range, including parts of India, Pakistan, and Iran. However, over time, its population drastically declined, primarily due to hunting, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflicts. By the early 20th century, the Asiatic lion was on the brink of extinction, with only a small population remaining in the Gir Forest of Gujarat, India.


Recognizing the need to safeguard this iconic species, the Indian government initiated the Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project to establish a second population outside of Gujarat. Kuno National Park was identified as a suitable site for the reintroduction due to its favorable habitat and ecological conditions. The park's dry deciduous forests, grasslands, and hilly terrain provide a promising environment for the Asiatic lions to thrive.


Extensive preparations and habitat improvements have been undertaken in Kuno National Park to support the reintroduction. These include habitat restoration, prey augmentation, anti-poaching measures, and community engagement to ensure the successful coexistence of lions and local communities.


While the reintroduction of Asiatic lions in Kuno National Park has been a long and complex process, progress has been made. The final stage of translocation is pending the approval of the Supreme Court of India.




Top Things to do in Kuno National Park

Kuno National Park offers several activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Kuno National Park:


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Walks and Hiking
  • Photography
  • Wildlife Conservation and Education
  • Local Cultural Interactions




Kuno National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Kuno National Park?/Kuno National Park in which district?/Kuno National Park is located in which state?/Where is Kuno National Park situated?/Where is Kuno National Park in M.P.?

A. Kuno National Park is located in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh, India. 


Q. Which river flows through Kuno National Park?/Which river passes through Kuno National Park?/Kuno National Park on which river?

A. Kuno river flows through Kuno National Park. 


Q. Kuno National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Kuno National Park is famous for Cheetah.


Q. Kuno National Park established in which year?

A. Kuno National Park was established in 2018.

Kuno National Park

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