While giraffe numbers have plummeted across the African continent in recent years, they are still relatively widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. Giraffe are currently and widely recognised as one species and nine (sub)species, based on a combination of distribution, coat pattern, morphology and some genetic data. These subspecies are geographically very distinct. In a recent study, the distribution of two (sub)species that live in close proximity in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa has been further investigated and the results have just been published.
With an estimated population of less than 1,100 Rothschild’s giraffe remaining in the wild, these giraffe belong to one of the most endangered (sub)species. GCF together with a number of partners have embarked on setting up a Rothschild’s giraffe conservation project in Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park - the home of the largest known wild population of Rothschild’s giraffe, while also providing technical support to all Uganda Wildlife Authority giraffe conservation efforts in the country.
GCF is excited to announce that Dr. Julian Fennessy, co-founder of GCF, has been appointed as the first Executive Director with immediate effect. After many years of dedicating his time and energy to saving giraffe in the wild as a volunteer Trustee, Dr Fennessy has been appointed to build out the operational centre from our African base in Windhoek, Namibia.
Giraffid is the newsletter of the IUCN 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.
GCF’s long-term conservation initiative focusing on Namibia’s desert-dwelling giraffe is well underway. Dr Julian Fennessy has recently returned from a field trip to Northwest Namibia where GCF continues the first ever long-term conservation research effort on the Angolan giraffe. Julian was accompanied by two American giraffe zoo keepers.
While the success of the first ever World Giraffe Day has certainly stolen the limelight from other GCF initiatives, preparations for the third Giraffe Indaba are well under way. Giraffe Indaba III will be jointly hosted by GCF and the IUCN SSC Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group (GOSG) and will take place in South Africa at the end of August 2015.