Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary has been identified as the second potential habitat for cheetah reintroduction

Jun 18, 2024

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The Madhya Pradesh government has completed preparations at the Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary to become a new habitat for cheetahs.

The Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary will be the second home for cheetahs in India, after the Kuno National Park.

What makes Gandhi Sagar an ideal habitat for cheetahs?

The sanctuary is spread across an area of 368.62 sq km, in the districts of Mandsaur (187.12 sq km) and Neemuch (181.5 sq km) in western MP, right on the border with Rajasthan.

It sits atop a flat rocky plateau, with the Chambal River cutting the sanctuary into two almost equal halves. The Gandhi Sagar dam, constructed on the river in 1960, lies within the area of the sanctuary, and so does parts of its reservoir, 726 sq km large in area and third largest in the country.

Due to the rocky terrain and exposed sheetrock, the topsoil is shallow. This is behind Gandhi Sagar’s savanna ecosystem comprising open grasslands interspersed with dry deciduous trees and shrubs. The riverine valleys, however, are evergreen.

MP’s wildlife officials say that Gandhi Sagar makes for “perfect” cheetah habitat.

Under the ambitious cheetah reintroduction project, eight Namibian cheetahs, five females and three males, were released into enclosures at Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh's Sheopur district on 17th September, 2022.


In February 2023, 12 more cheetahs were brought from South Africa.

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