Giraffe Populations on the Rise

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.

4 thoughts on “Giraffe Populations on the Rise

  1. bgreen1234

    Hi Jared, Thanks for the post!  Great to learn that the satellite imagery can now id and and thereby track movement individual giraffe.  Just amazing! I’m pretty sure you were involved in relocation work returning Northern Giraffe to Uganda after Amin’s lack of protection permitted their local extinction many years back.  The article refers to Fennessy’s comment on the relocation of 15 Northern Giraffe to Lake Mburo Uganda in 2015.  I thought your relocation work was later than that.  The Oryx release, where you collared the first 23 to 25 in Chad was in 2016, right? Hope you’re staying well.  And here’s a toast to Jared in in the Masai one day soon! BestBruce


    1. Hi Bruce. The translocation work was before my time, but led by our partners at the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. They’ve been doing fantastic things with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and local communities, and have a very experienced veterinarian stationed in Murchison Falls National Park. The Lake Mburo translocation is a real success story and as you note, was necessitated due to wildlife populations that were decimated during the Amin era. Also correct is the oryx reintroduction in Chad, with 23 individuals released in 2016. The population now numbers more than 350 free-roaming animals, all positive signs that the population is adapting to their new environment and thriving. We’ve added addax to the mix and are discussing targeted action to support dama gazelle. All very positive activities that are happening behind the scenes. The stability of these countries is paramount if conservation is to continue to be a success. Certainly hoping to be back in the Mara soon.


  2. Anita Walker

    J, I hope you know all this effort is very much appreciated. It is a long hard road but you really are making a difference. Yours in the love of our precious land and its beloved creatures. Aloha, Cousin Anita

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


  3. S Dalton

    I remember reading about the oryx reintroduction in 2016. Amazing to hear about their new numbers…wow! The stability issue is a constant for animals and peoples. Such important work you and your teams are involved in…good on you all!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s