GCF’s ongoing genetics research has shown that there are four species of giraffe. With less than 5,900 individuals remaining in the wild, the Northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is the least populous of all four giraffe species.
The total population of its subspecies Kordofan giraffe (G. c. antiquorum) is estimated at only 2,300. A decline of more than 80% in the last three decades has resulted in their recent listing as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
In the Republic of Chad Kordofan giraffe almost exclusively exist in Zakouma National Park (NP) in the south-east of the country, home to approximately 60% of the world’s wild population of Kordofan giraffe. This programme is the first-ever conservation research effort on Kordofan giraffe in Chad and it will result in clear management recommendations.
PhD student Dominique Rhoades in collaboration with African Parks Network conducts the first-ever surveys of the Kordofan giraffe population in Zakouma NP using individual identification methods and camera traps to better understand their dynamics. Collecting giraffe tissue samples will help determine their genetics in comparison to other giraffe in Africa and most importantly the project will identify and assess threats to the giraffe population to inform future conservation decisions. As one of the first steps, GCF financially and technically supported the fitting of eight new GPS satellite units to giraffe. Additional units will be fitted to help better understand giraffe seasonal movements, spatial ecology and habitat use.