21 June has been designated the day on which the wildlife aficionados of this planet celebrate the giraffe, one of Africa’s most beautiful denizens and iconic symbols. According to Billy Dodson, GCF patron and nature photographer, this acknowledgment is long overdue.
We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Germany based US-American visual artist Kevin Halfhill, who has designed an amazing range of exclusive GCF and World Giraffe Day merchandise for us.
Giraffid is the newsletter of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group (GOSG). The latest issue can be downloaded from the GCF website now. Giraffid, and its predecessor Giraffa, has been published since 2006 and it is getting increasingly popular. The number of downloads from the GCF website averages well over 4,200 per issue. Make sure you don't miss this informative read on in and ex situ giraffe and okapi research and conservation.
Research published today in a special giraffe and okapi issue of the African Journal of Ecology reveals new information on these surprisingly enigmatic African cousins. Researchers warn that immediate action must be taken to secure the future of both giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) and okapi (Okapia johnstoni) before it is too late.
We have recently added a third poster to our series of giraffe conservation posters. This latest addition focuses on giraffe subspecies, their differences in appearance and their distribution in Africa. These posters, together with the Giraffe Conservation Guide booklet provide the most up-to-date conservation information on giraffe in Africa. GCF's latest research findings have been included to update the giraffe distribution map on this new poster.
In December 2014, as part of the collaborative efforts of GCF and Dartmouth College in partnership with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), PhD student and researcher Michael B. Brown travelled to Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda to continue ongoing research and monitoring of the largest wild population of Rothschild's giraffe.
As a small organisation, GCF continues to be a driving force for giraffe conservation all across Africa. The financial year 2013/14 was a busy year for GCF, where we developed new partnerships in Africa and internationally, brought together people during the second ‘wild’ Giraffe Indaba, developed beautiful information materials and implemented giraffe conservation projects in several African range States - to name just a few activities and achievements.
There are an estimated 30-40 Kordofan giraffe remaining in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). African Parks Network recently enlisted GCF’s help in an attempt to secure a sustainable future for this giraffe population. GCF’s Executive Director and Conservation Scientist Dr Julian Fennessy and GCF Associate Francois Deacon from the University of the Free State embarked on a rather eventful mission to Garamba National Park to come up with a plan to save these giraffe.
GCF has been spearheading a long-term project to investigate the genetic mystery of giraffe for over ten years now. To date samples have been collected and analysed of most major giraffe populations across Africa and we are close to solving this puzzle. There are just a few key populations remaining that still need to be sampled for DNA before we can hopefully figure out giraffe taxonomy once and for all. In December 2014 a GCF team travelled to Zambia in order to collect samples in Mosi-oa-Tunya and Sioma Ngwezi National Parks.