Uganda is home to one of the most threatened subspecies of giraffe: the Nubian giraffe (G. c. camelopardalis).
Once free ranging across western Kenya, western Ethiopia, southern South Sudan and Uganda, the Nubian giraffe has been largely eliminated from much of its former range.
In 2010, it was estimated that only 250 Nubian giraffe (then considered Rothschild’s giraffe) lived in their native range in Murchison Falls National Park. Consequently, Rothschild’s giraffe was listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2010. GCF became actively involved in giraffe conservation in Uganda in 2013, when our team conducted the first surveys and genetic sampling at Murchison Falls National Park.
This initial field work has formed the base for a long-term close collaborative giraffe conservation programme in Uganda involving GCF, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Dartmouth College and other partners. Ongoing conservation and research efforts by all partners indicate that giraffe numbers are higher than initially estimated and continue to increase. Due to concerted efforts to increase giraffe numbers in the country, Uganda is now home to over 1,650 Nubian giraffe – still a precariously low number that highlights the need for ongoing monitoring to ensure their survival.
GCF and UWA’s collaborative effort to conserve giraffe in Uganda is guided by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed by both parties in 2014 to formalise this important partnership. GCF’s giraffe conservation efforts in Uganda are a priority, currently focusing on all three national parks that host giraffe: Murchison Falls (northern and southern bank), Kidepo Valley and Lake Mburo National Parks.