Kuno National Park is located in the Vindhyan Hills in Central India. The state where the park is based is in Madhya Pradesh. The Park was formed in 1981. There are other names associated with Kuno National Park. They are Kuno Palpur Sanctuary and Palpur Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. It achieved National Park status in 2018. The Park falls in the dry-deciduous forest ecoregion.
In the year 1991, the government was in conversation to implement the Asiatic Lion project there. It would aim at making India a stronghold for Lion conservation, after Gir, in Gujarat. However, things were not that easy. The prey base, weather, vegetation, and habitat were a matter of concern for Gir Lions. The shortage of prey base in Gir, paved the way to declare Kuno as a protected area. The core sanctuary area is 350 sq. km out of 900 sq. km area. The Asiatic Lions from Gir will be the first inhabitants of Kuno.
In the process many of the inhabitants, mostly the Saharian tribes were relocated elsewhere. The other inhabitants included the Yadavs, Kushwahas, and the Gujjars. The place is full of ancient forts that are in ruins today. Lush green vegetation comprising ‘Khair’, ‘Kardhai’, and ‘Salai’ trees dominate. The dense jungle with an abundance of flora, paves the way for birds to migrate. The Kuno River flows silently through the forest. Thus, giving the name ‘Kuno National Park’. The other animals that inhabit Kuno National Park are the Indian wolf, the Indian leopard, monkey, and nilgai.
Cheetahs will be re-introduced into Kuno National Park in November, 2021. The Cheetah is not found in India at present. Moreover, the country, India’s last Cheetah died in the year 1947. The Cheetah is a vulnerable animal according to IUCN’s Red List. The Cheetahs will be brought from the African Savannahs. The Project Cheetah Madhya Pradesh will add to the attraction of the park, along with Asiatic-Gir Lions. Let us witness the revitalization of Kuno National Park.