Multidisciplinary global team members include: 

30 Scientists from 10 different countries representing: Biologist, grassland scientist, GPS/GIS specialist, acoustic specialist, zoologist, wildlife veterinarians, reproductive physiologist, endocrinologist, soil scientist, animal behaviorist, geneticist, biochemist, animal welfare advocates, and bioengineers.

The Aim: 

To create a model for conservation via research and education to be used as an example for other countries. This model incorporate students, academia, professionals, sponsors and stakeholders that cover various topics relating to giraffe education, management and conservation.

Understanding that not just working with National Parks and other Universities but also private landownership, whether game ranches, farms, or nature reserves can play a vital role in the conservation of giraffes. With this specialist team we will create a national strategy that will guide giraffes to be managed sustainably within natural resources.

UFS contribution to Giraffe Conservation Strategies in Africa

1. We are the leading university in the collection and analysing information about giraffes and their habitats.

Crucial to giraffe conservation is documenting the relationships among food distribution and availability, giraffe feeding and movement patterns, and social systems and reproductive rates. The essential aspect of conservation is to link animal diets with their reproductive rates because whether a population is increasing, decreasing, or stable depends upon their reproductive profiles, which depend upon their body condition, and that is a function of diet and activity patterns. Examining habitat characteristics is crucial to determine the carrying capacity of the environment, as well as studying how giraffes fit into an ecosystem. Examining the distribution of giraffes across the continent so that the boundaries and limits of the nine subspecies are known in more detail should provide an added dimension to giraffe conservation. Understanding giraffe physiology and diseases under natural conditions provides added insights into their biology that can help with conservation management planning.

2. We are the leading university in increasing conservation education awareness about giraffes and African biodiversity

A major strategic goal of giraffe conservation in Africa is creating education awareness campaigns among children, adults, and key stakeholders that focus on sustainable use of resources along with conservation of wildlife and habitat. 

3. We are also the leading university to develop national and/or regional plans aimed at giraffe conservation.

Giraffe have recently been added as a species that needs added protection because some populations extend across country boundaries, which requires international collaboration and cooperation for conservation. Designing conservation strategies requires local input not only from high-ranking government officials, but from local villages and communities that are adjacent to giraffe habitats. Training Africans to become conservation managers and game rangers is a crucial component of giraffe conservation strategies.

 


  Fundraising initiative

  Contact details:

Dr Francois Deacon
  T: +27 51 401 3554
  C: +27 84 579 3004
  E: DeaconF@ufs.ac.za

 Donate via GivenGain

Funding Required:
  • Total for all international projects: $330 000
  • Total for all master's and PhD projects: $115 000
  • Collars for giraffes: $1 900
  • Sponsorship for follow-up film to Last of the Longnecks, documenting the story of the collaring of giraffe by the UFS,
    the first time such comprehensive collaring has been attempted for giraffe at one time
  • A branded research vehicle