South Africa

GPS Tracking for Giraffe Conservation
Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are in danger of extinction.  One way to stop the plummeting numbers is to learn more about how giraffes use their habitat and how much area do they need in order to survive and reproduce.  Our preliminary results ​​ (http://www.savethegiraffes.com/news/gps-tracking-of-giraffes) found that some giraffes live in a home range that is four times the size of Manhattan Island.  Our work was featured in “Last of the Longnecks”, also called “ Walking with Giraffes. ”  Our novel approach to deciphering the determinants of giraffe movements should help map key areas for giraffe conservation because we can uncover the key environmental factors that influence how and why giraffes travel where they do.

Francois Deacon, Ph.D.
University of the Free State, South Africa
 
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United States/ Global

GIRAFFE CONSERVATION AWARENESS PROGAM
Giraffes are in trouble because they are an endangered species.  The first step in ending their decline is public awareness.  The primary aim of this project is to educate people about the plight of giraffes by using a variety of media sources to enlighten both children and adults about why giraffes are in danger of extinction.  We seek funds for producing picture books, pamphlets, video casts, and educational material that explains and explores how SAVE THE GIRAFFES can achieve their vision.  We plan to translate our productions into a variety of foreign languages, especially those used in the habitat countries where giraffes live in Africa.  Our conservation educational program uses multiple media formats aimed at diverse audiences across all ages and living in different countries.
 
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Tanzania

PROJECT GIRAFFE
Project GIRAFFE: GIRAffe Facing Fragmentation Effects monitors births, deaths, and movements of more than 2,100 individual giraffes in an area over 1,350 square miles by using a special computer program that recognizes each giraffe’s unique fur pattern from photographs.   Wildlife habitat is increasingly fragmented by humans and our giraffe conservation research is discovering where giraffes are doing well, where they are not, and why.  We focus on Masai giraffes, a type whose numbers have gone down by 50% in recent times. Our research provides data-driven guidance for effective conservation actions in an ever more fragmented world, and ensures the future of wild giraffes and all creatures of the savanna. 
 

Derek Lee, Ph.D.
Wild Nature Institute

 
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Tanzania

CELEBRATING AFRICA’S GIANTS
Giraffes, elephants, and rhinoceros are Africa’s giants, majestically roaming across savanna landscapes and awing safari-goers and zoo visitors around the world. These largest of land mammals play critical ecological roles where they live, but they are endangered due to conflicts with humans.  Successful conservation of Africa’s giants requires support from Africans living alongside giraffes, elephants, and rhinoceros, as well as people around the world who care about the survival of these species and their habitats.  Environmental Education is one of the best tools to develop meaningful conservation awareness and action.   Our children's books, posters, activities, and lesson plans are for children, their parents and educators in Tanzania, America, and around the world.  Part of our program is to lead teacher workshops in the field.

David Brown, Ph.D.

Tanzania
 
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AUSTRIA

ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION IN GIRAFFE
Giraffes, like chimpanzees and African elephants live in fisson-fusion social systems.  In general, animals living in these types of societies regulate subgroup dynamics with sophisticated vocal communication systems.  But is this true for giraffes? Our previous research on giraffe vocalizations has revealed that they broadcast ‘humming’ sounds that probably modulate their social relationships when vision is limited.  Giraffes have few audible vocalizations, but it is unknown to what extent giraffes broadcast vocal signals over short- or long distances to one another to mediate herd composition.  This project intends to find out how giraffes mediate their social interactions by combining GPS locations with remote recording of sounds.  We will equip customized giraffe GPS units with specialized microphones in order to better understand decision-making processes in giraffes, as well as providing crucial insights useful for conservation programs and plans.

Anton Baotic
Mammal Communication Lab
Department of Cognitive Biology
University of Vienna, Austria
 

 
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Tanzania

DYNAMICS OF GIRAFFE COW/CALF ASSOCIATIONS AND LOCATIONS
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) sometimes form a crèche, or a nursery group, composed of several mother-calf pairs. Crèches have important roles in helping to protect calves from predators, as well as allowing mothers to share calf care responsibility, while they take turns feeding. Calves reared in the same crèche seem to maintain their friendships into adulthood.  However, we do not know in which habitats mothers prefer to form crèches.  How is birth site determined and how do females decide who will be the babysitter?  If suitable locations for forming a crèche were destroyed without us understanding how they are chosen, then it could have a serious impact on giraffe conservation. My study of giraffes is in Katavi National Park, Tanzania.
 

Miho Saito
Wildlife Research Center
Kyoto University, Japan
 
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