Endangered Nubian Giraffe Conservation Programme
In partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and other Nubian giraffe conservation partners in Kenya including AFEW/Giraffe Center, Giraffe Manor, Kigio Wildlife Conservancy and Soysambu Conservancy, GCF is developing a dedicated Nubian Giraffe Working Group to support the implementation of the draft National Giraffe Conservation Strategy of Kenya. Increasing education, awareness and conservation activities in support of Nubian giraffe conservation in Kenya are critical as the country is home to one of the largest wild populations.
Aside from supporting KWS host the Nubian Giraffe Working Group, GCF has recently initiated targeted surveys of key giraffe populations in the little known Ruma National Park and Mwea National Reserve. Ruma National Park is assumed to be home to the largest population of Nubian giraffe in Kenya and together with Mwea National Reserve, are two of several areas where AFEW/Giraffe Center have re-introduced Nubian giraffe back into the wild. As a key component of this programme, GCF is enhancing capacity of the AFEW team to individually identify and monitor these giraffe populations. Enhancing the capacity of Kenyans is key for the long-term conservation of giraffe in the country.
On the ground, GCF has partnered with Soysambu Conservancy to offer regular volunteering opportunities for hands-on experience in giraffe conservation and management. Soysambu Conservancy, a non-profit organisation, works to conserve a traditional wildlife area, which supports the integrity of the greater Rift Valley eco-system, while promoting sustainable coexistence of wildlife with livestock and at the same time being relevant to and part of modern-day Kenya. GCF has worked with Soysambu Conservancy for many years and provided valuable conservation and research support.
Located on Lake Elmenteita (within the Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley World Heritage Site, a Ramsar Convention Wetlands Site and a Bird Life International Important Bird and Biodiversity Area), Soysambu Conservancy is bordered by Lake Nakuru National Park on the west, volcanoes Ol Doinyo Eburru to the south and Menengai to the north. Consisting of 20,000 hectares of diverse ecological significance, Soysambu Conservancy is home to more than 450 bird species (28% of the world’s population of Lesser Flamingo) and 10,000 mammals of over 50 species including ~100 endangered Nubian giraffe.
Volunteers will be involved in all aspects of the field conservation programme, which focusses on giraffe monitoring and data recording, following animals in a vehicle, identifying individual giraffe using photographic libraries (and helping to create new identification files), data entry into computer database and other activities on Soysambu Conservancy e.g. bird and other wildlife monitoring. Refer to the Conservation Supporter Overview for more information.