Namibia
Giraffes have been for a long time considered as one of the most charismatic and important African species, ecologically or economically speaking.

Endangered species

In 1998, the number of giraffes was estimated at more than 140,000 individuals through Africa. One decade later, less than 80,000 individuals were left.

They are threatened in all their distributional range by human population growth, by the resulting agricultural development and by illegal hunting. The remaining populations are moreover separated from one another.

In all its range, the Kordofan giraffe is threatened by the increase of the human population, the agricultural development that comes from it, and the illegal hunting. Besides, the remaining populations are isolated from each other.

Conservation actions

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation and the specialists group of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), SSC GOSG (Giraffe & Okapi Specialists Group) have set the preservation of the Kordofan giraffe in Zimbabwe as one of their biggest priority of conservation. A first report will help to supply recommendations to the governments of Central Africa on the best way to preserve the remaining populations. However, the knowledge on the Kordofan giraffe remains limited, in particular concerning its distribution area and its status of subspecies, that remain uncertain. A collection of biological data, completed by DNA analysis, prove to be necessary to clarify this status.

Supported by Beauval Nature, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation project has three main objectives:

  • collect DNA samples to define the subspecies of giraffes, as well as their taxonomic status
  • evaluate the number of giraffes in their distributional range, as well as on the whole African continent, in order to determine their status on the IUCN Red List.
  • train the field staff in charge of the local fauna management

These studies should provide precious information to help elaborate a follow-up program, whose implementation could be managed by local government organizations and NGOs.

At the same time, the program aims to study giraffes in their natural environment, by equipping them with radio collars. In 2016, in Namibia, two Angolan giraffes will be equipped with GPS collars, to study their moves, social interactions and ecology.

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