There are many worthy organizations doing incredibly important work throughout Africa, and we like to take the time to highlight one of them now and then. We hope they strike a chord with you and inspire you to give time or money to these deserving causes. Today, we’d like to tell you a bit about the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Much attention is given (validly) to the poaching of rhinos and the encroachment of human settlements on wildlife habitat, amongst other issues threatening once healthy ecosystems, however the plight of the giraffe goes largely unnoticed. Giraffe numbers have plummeted over the past decade – while there were an estimated 140,000 giraffe in Africa in the late 90s, it is believed that there are only approximately 80,000 left today. Two of the nine giraffe subspecies have been listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List: the West African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta) and Rothschild’s giraffe (G. c. rothschildi) with only approximately 250 and 670 individuals remaining in the wild respectively.
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation’s vision is that of a sustainable future where all giraffe populations are protected and secure in the wild. To achieve this, they pledge to do the following:
- Promote the importance and profile of giraffe conservation on the international stage.
- Secure viable, and protect existing, habitat for giraffe and other wildlife.
- Support dedicated and innovative research to better understand giraffe ecology, conservation and management.
- Establish the current status of all giraffe populations and (sub)species to support and inform their conservation and management.
- Identify key threats to giraffe and innovative ways to mitigate these.
- Develop a world class network of individuals and organisations dedicated to securing the future of giraffe.
- Provide a platform and forum for giraffe related research, conservation and management discussion.
- Increase awareness about the plight of giraffe.
- Promote and support giraffe conservation initiatives and work collaboratively with local communities to develop a sustainable future for both people and wildlife.
Visit their website to learn more about their specific projects, to learn more about the giraffe, to donate to GCF or even to send a giraffe e-card.Photos © Gretchen Healey