2016 was a big year for giraffe and GCF. We have continued to make a mark in giraffe conservation in Africa and have managed to get some international attention to our long-necked friends. Featuring our work in a BBC/PBS documentary and telling the story of the plight of giraffe in such a visual way has helped to bring giraffe to the international conservation agenda. The new findings that there might not be one but four giraffe species in Africa has fascinated not only the scientific community, but gave giraffe a lot of well-deserved media coverage.
This was only topped with the bitter-sweet news that giraffe are now ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. While this is sad news indeed, it has not come as a surprise to us at GCF and having the peril of giraffe confirmed by the IUCN (with our support) will hopefully help our efforts to conserve these amazing creatures in Africa.
We would also like to use this opportunity to thank all our donors and supporters! Without you, all this work would not be possible. Thank you for sticking your necks out for giraffe conservation in Africa. Together we can make a difference!
World Giraffe Day – 21 June – Update
Operation Twiga was a joint effort of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and GCF and involved many partners and supporters to make this a huge success. Funding from World Giraffe Day – 21 June – made this conservation translocation of 20 Nubian (formerly Rothschild’s) giraffe possible. We are very happy to report that the giraffe on the southern side of the Nile River are doing well and we are planning to supplement the population later this year. At the same time, the Reticulated Giraffe Conservation Programme in northern Kenya is progressing with a good team of local staff and equipment in place, and we will get back with more exciting updates soon – GPS satellite collaring, hint hint! In Namibia, almost 2,000 school children participated in the Khomas Environmental Education Programme (KEEP) during its first year of operation. Both programmes are supported with World Giraffe Day funds and have really helped move giraffe conservation forward.
Updated booklet and posters
With so many changes in giraffe status and taxonomy, it was about time to update our website and materials. We can now proudly report that we have updated all materials – but please let us know if we have missed anything. All posters and the new conservation guide booklet can be downloaded for free from our website. Please get in touch for high resolution versions for printing.
Africa-wide Giraffe Conservation Strategic Framework – Road Map
GCF has developed a Strategic Framework as a ‘road map’ to guide conservation activities throughout Africa and, where appropriate, to inform future country, species or subspecies plans and/or an Africa wide Giraffe Conservation Strategy. The document can be downloaded here.
Saving the last West African giraffe in Niger
While giraffe conservation and conservation in general is often associated with a lot of doom and gloom, there are also some success stories. In the mid 1990s only 49 West African giraffe remained in the whole of West Africa. GCF is working closely with the Niger Government and local NGO AVEN to make giraffe conservation in Niger a success. We are excited to report that based on the latest survey numbers the West African giraffe have increased to approx. 550 individuals! You can download the latest survey report here.