Saving DRC’s Threatened Kordofan Giraffe
It is estimated that there are less than 2,000 Kordofan giraffe remaining in the wild, with an approximate decline of 95% in the last 30 years alone. Urgent efforts to protect the remaining populations are required.
The last remaining population of Kordofan giraffe in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) occurs in Garamaba National Park (NP). Nestled in the far north-eastern corner of the country, Garamba NP was first established in 1938 by virtue of its uniqueness as one of the first national parks in Africa. After initial conservation successes, the park’s infamy has sadly increased through losing the last northern white rhino and being plagued by rebels, in particular the Lord’s Resistance Army. Over the last few decades the impact of poaching has decimated the park’s wildlife population, especially from rebel groups who often use the benefits from the wildlife to support their illegal activities.
For the past three years, GCF has supported African Parks Network and ICCN (DRC’s wildlife authority) in their efforts to save this last population of giraffe in DRC. Increased understanding of population dynamics, their habitat use and imminent threats, implementing giraffe conservation monitoring and management activities, as well as supporting anti-poaching efforts, have been at the centre of these activities.
Despite all efforts, giraffe numbers in the park and surrounding areas number less than 45 individuals. It is therefore more important than ever to support this critical giraffe conservation initiative before giraffe become extinct in DRC.