Sticking our Necks Out for Giraffe
“Up until very recently, not much was known about giraffe. These mostly shy and silent animals are mostly under-researched, and as a result their social structures and behaviours remain mostly a mystery.”
What’s not to love about giraffe? Their long necks hold something of an iconic African status. What’s more, here in Namibia the growth of the Giraffe populations are one of our major conservation success stories. 99FM’s MYD Earth sat down with Stephanie Fennessy, the Programme Director at the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, to talk about Giraffes and why their conservation is important for Africa.
According to Stephanie “Our estimates are that there are only about 90 000 giraffe left in Africa. This number is a shocking drop from 140 000 less than 20 years ago. In contrast to giraffe, there are at least half a million elephant in Africa today. Namibia’s giraffe are doing well at least, with healthy numbers and distribution. So conservation efforts here are working well.”
“Up until very recently, not much was known about giraffe. These mostly shy and silent animals are mostly under-researched, and as a result their social structures and behaviours remain mostly a mystery. However, long term studies in Namibia and elsewhere in Africa have yielded interesting results.”
Namibia, Steph explains, “Have a subspecies called Angolan giraffe and they are quite frequently found. We are just finalizing a study here where we wanted to get a better grip on numbers so we looked at game counts and there are a lot on national parks, in communal lands and on commercial farms. It’s really good and it’s a really good success story”
When asked what makes Giraffe unique as a species, Steph notes “The looks, obviously, they’re just really different. What makes quite fascinating for us as researchers is, people always assume we know everything about giraffe, because they’re everywhere and they’re so out there and so dominant in the African picture. I mean if you look at advertisements and anything, they’re used so widely. But we make a lot of assumptions about them, but we don’t really know much about them.”
When asked what she loves about Giraffe, Steph exclaims they “just look really cool! They certainly make me smile every time I see them, because they just look so awkward and weird.”
While we know that no safari trip is complete without a sight of giraffe, we also know that they are an integral part of the essence of Africa. This is why taking care of their future is an important task for conservation. Luckily, Steph and her colleagues at the Giraffe Conservation Foundation are ensuring they will be part of the landscape for future generations of Africans.
Take a listen to the MYD Earth Show with Stephanie Fennessy here :
You can get in touch with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation by clicking here : Giraffe Conservation Foundation