Accompanying our recent publication on the Conservation Status of Giraffe, National Geographic published a short article to profile the good news that there are approximately 117,173 giraffe in the wild in Africa today, a 20% increase from 2015 estimates. Part of the reason for the increase is simply due to improved survey and analytical techniques (such as Crego et al. 2020), refining our estimates with better quality data. In other cases, the observed increases are due directly to conservation efforts across the species ranges, including species translocations led by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Northern giraffe (Critically Endangered) remain the most threatened of all the giraffe species, with roughly 5,900 individuals remaining, scattered across isolated pockets in North Africa. Reticulated giraffe (Endangered) are the second least-populous, with roughly 16,000 individuals. Roughly 45,000 Masai giraffe (Endangered) remain, a significant increase from 2015, while southern giraffe (~48,000 individuals) have remained relatively stable.
Congratulations to Michael Brown, Julian Fennessy and all co-authors for this publication and their efforts to raise the profile of giraffe and take action with local organizations and officials to work towards reversing the trends of the past. The National Geographic article can be found online here.