From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

Giraffe numbers increasing, but numbers are still low warns charity

A positive population trend has been reported by a giraffe conservation charity, providing hope for the iconic species.

Masai giraffes in Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
Published: February 23, 2022 at 3:00 pm
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In some rare good news for African large mammals, the overall number of giraffes has increased by almost 20% since 2015 and now stands at just over 117,000 individuals, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF).

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Numbers of all four species of giraffe (Masai, northern, southern and reticulated) are increasing or stable.

“This is the first time that such trends have been reported in recent history,” says GCF's co-director Stephanie Fennessy.

However, the charity warns that the giraffe population remains precariously low, particularly when compared to that of the African elephant – there is only one giraffe for every three to four elephants.

The increase in giraffe numbers is being attributed to a range of factors. “In some giraffe populations we single- handedly doubled the number of giraffes through improved survey methods,” explains Fennessy. “We simply counted them better.”

In other moves, the organisation has successfully worked with countries across Africa to help boost the conservation and protection of giraffes.

Niger, for example, is home to the last remaining population of the West African subspecies. By the mid-1990s there were less than 50 remaining, but thanks to conservation strategies, there are more than 600 today.


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Main image: Masai giraffes in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. © Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket/Getty

Authors

Simon Birch is an award-winning freelance journalist who has specialised in environmental and ethically themed features for 20 years. He regularly contribute to a wide range of national newspapers and magazines.

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