SURVEYING GIRAFFE NUMBERS IN UGANDA
Total numbers of giraffe are estimated to be less than 80,000 individuals in the wild, down from 140,000 fifteen years ago, yet the giraffe as a species is still not always understood to be of conservation concern.
We are working alongside giraffe experts from around the world to survey the numbers of giraffe and create a conservation action plan to ensure that populations don't fall to even more critical levels.
Our team have been working out in the Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda to provide expertise and people power to complete the surveys.
The project is relying on photographic capture-mark-recapture census techniques to identify individuals. Just as human fingerprints are unique to each individual, the markings on giraffe help to identify individuals through their uniqueness and this is how the team will identify the number of individuals that are present.
I’ve always loved Rothschild’s giraffes and feel very lucky to work with them on a daily basis. I was extremely excited to travel to Uganda to help with the census and see the Rothschild giraffe in the wild.
A SIGN OF HOPE FOR THE ENDANGERED ROTHSCHILD'S GIRAFFE
One sub-species of giraffe, classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), have been given an important boost by our ongoing breeding programme for the species.
Recent estimates suggest that fewer than 1,100 are left in the wild – making them one of the most endangered subspecies of giraffe in the world.
A rare Rothschild’s giraffe calf, a male named Kidepo, born in July 2015 was the second of his species to be born at the zoo in 2015 and the third in the space of just eight months.
We're not only proud of the contribution we've made to the breeding programme but also the opportunity that brings to raise the profile of the challenges facing these beautiful creatures in the wild.
If our new arrivals can help to raise awareness of the huge pressures that Rothschild’s giraffes face on a day-to-day basis out in the wild and highlight the ever-growing need for conservation, then we’ll be very happy indeed.