GCF recently initiated a new programme in support of the conservation of southern giraffe (Giraffa giraffa) in South Africa.
Almost half of giraffe in Africa live in southern Africa.
South Africa is one of the stronghold populations for giraffe on the continent and it is therefore essential to understand the abundance, distribution, and genetic make-up of the different meta populations located throughout the country.
The majority of South Africa’s giraffe occur in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country and their populations are largely located on private game reserves and private farms. A considerable number of these giraffe live in small isolated populations, some of which were introduced from neighbouring farms or even countries, begging the question whether they contribute to the overall genetic database for southern giraffe and potential hybridisation between the two subspecies South African (G. g. giraffa) and Angolan giraffe (G. g. angolensis).
To address these questions, our programme includes country-wide DNA sampling, population abundance surveys and translocation assessments for potential moves within Southern Africa. Developing a National Giraffe Conservation Strategy and Action Plan will be one of the first steps in developing and guiding this programme together with our South African conservation partners.