Protecting Giraffes | Sense Africa

Jenny's Blog

Protecting Giraffes28th February '20

Giraffe at a waterhole

Map of giraffe distributionA study undertaken last year has produced giraffe distribution maps which covers 21 countries in Africa. It states that about 70% of giraffes’ range occurs outside government-managed protected areas, or formally protected areas like national parks. This means that most giraffes live on community lands where they share space with livestock and people.

The updated map will serve as a baseline from which conservationists can start monitoring changes in giraffe distribution. Data came from large-scale aerial surveys including the Great Elephant Census to give accurate maps of where giraffe populations live in sub‐Saharan Africa.

The map shows that the northern giraffe’s populations occur in small, fragmented groups, their decline driven largely by the loss of habitat. There has been an expansion in the distribution of the Reticulated giraffe, although this is probably because of improved monitoring and data collection.

For four countries, including eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Namibia, Somalia and South Africa, the researchers weren’t able to get sufficient data. In Somalia, this is because there hasn’t been any systematic survey on giraffes due to ongoing conflict and insecurity. In Namibia, eSwatini and South Africa, which have some of the largest populations of giraffe, most giraffes live on private land, and data has yet to be collected from all landowners.

Sense Africa provides bespoke self-drive, privately guided, or group guided tours  which provide opportunities to see giraffes. Contact us to discuss the options available.

Jenny Bowen,
Director and Founder of Sense Africa

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