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The South African giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa: a conservation success story

  • Francois Deacon (a1) and Andy Tutchings (a2)

Across Africa the majority of giraffe species and subspecies are in decline, whereas the South African giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa remains numerous and widespread throughout southern Africa. By 2013 the number of giraffes in South Africa's Kruger National Park had increased by c. 150% compared to 1979 estimates. An even greater increase occurred on many of the estimated 12,000 privately owned game ranches, indicating that private ownership can help to conserve this subspecies. The estimated total population size in South Africa is 21,053–26,919. The challenge now is to implement monitoring and surveillance of G. camelopardalis giraffa as a conservation priority and to introduce sustainable practices among private owners to increase numbers and genetic variation within in-country subspecies.

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