There are many animal conservation groups in the world; each continent has its own priorities concerning the welfare of the animals it shelters. Bearing this in mind one would think that there would be more than one giraffe conservation organisation but that is in fact the case.
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation is that organisation and their purpose is to “….be dedicated to securing a future for all giraffe populations and (sub)species in the wild.” It’s a relatively new organisation which concentrates largely on six African countries in which giraffe conservation is necessary. In no particular order they are:
Botswana – research is undertaken into the largely neglected giraffe population. There is no particular hunting or extinction danger here but giraffes are a valuable part of Botswana’s culture and economy.
Kenya – giraffes in Kenya are a largely unresearched topic. Population movements have forced the displacement of giraffes in certain areas and like Botswana, giraffes are vital to tourism and therefore the local economy.
Namibia – Namibia’s giraffe population is on the increase and therefore extinction is not a great concern here. Namibia is used by the GCF as a kind of template for giraffe husbandry over the rest of the African continent.
Niger – The West African giraffe only exists in Niger and the huge decline in the giraffe population in the area has ensured a massive conservation effort is required here. Towards the end of the 1990s there were thought to be only 50 giraffes remaining in the area around the capital Niamey.
Zambia – Zambia has a reasonably healthy and unthreatened giraffe population and research here is mainly concentrated on establishing the genetic lineage of the giraffes. As with Namibia the results will add to current scientific knowledge.
Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe is not a particularly dangerous place for giraffes. Giraffes here are free roaming and it’s an ideal location in which to study the reproductive habits of the males.
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation is a globally run organisation with its focus very much on Africa. The research it is currently undertaking will ideally lead to improved scientific knowledge and higher quality conservation environments.