Photo Credit: Giraffe Conservation Foundation

Saving West Africa’s last giraffe: increasing conservation, management and range in support of the Niger National Strategy

16.07.2019

CONSERVATION PROBLEM

The project's collaborative efforts seek to address a number of the key threats to the threatened West African Giraffe. Niger is home to the last remaining population of these giraffe, with 99% living in one area known as 'Giraffe Zone'. The species was formerly widespread throughout West Africa, including Senegal, Mauritania, Mali and Nigeria. This species is threatened by agricultural encroachment, climate change and variability, human population growth and natural resource overexploitation as they predominantly live in and amongst people. As such, the giraffe experience reduced forage and limited access to water points. 

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

Together with government, local and international partners the grantee is seeking to improve the conservation management of the threatened West Africa Giraffe in Niger – its last remaining population in the field.

One of the project activities is to re-introduce West African Giraffe into Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve, augmenting the small population established there in 2018. Watch the story of how the first eight West African Giraffe were re-introduced:

Additional project actions designed are:

  1. Support monthly patrols to monitor giraffe population and their distribution in the ‘Giraffe Zone’ and Gadabedji Biospehere Reserve;
  2. Establish a centralised West African Giraffe database in Wildbook for Giraffe – GiraffeSpotter to store all known abundance and distribution data;
  3. Fit solar powered GPS satellite units to better under dispersal capacities and the home range size of West African Giraffe in the ‘Giraffe Zone’ and translocated individuals;
  4. Increase West African Giraffe Working Group support to guide implementation and review of National Strategy actions;
  5. Develop targeted giraffe interpretation in Niger for all stakeholders to emphasise the West African Giraffe conservation status.

PROJECT RESULTS

The West African Giraffe was restricted to one area up until late 2018 when the first re-introduction occurred into Gadabedji Biospehere Reserve (see video above). This project will seek to double the number of giraffe in this newly established population. Additionally, targeted monitoring of both populations will increase significantly (>60%), combined with fitting of GPS satellite units to individual giraffe to better understand their movements and potential threats. Overall the project will result in increased conservation efforts and attention for giraffe by also increasing local, national and international awareness.

This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.



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