West African giraffes make strides

Image: Giraffeconservation.org

Sixteen years of work by the Association to Safeguard the Giraffes of Niger (ASGN) are paying off, says Jean Patrick Suraud, the group’s scientific manager.

In the early 20th century, West African giraffes roamed a vast area that stretched from Chad to Senegal. By the late 1990s, poaching and deforestation had decreased the population to only 50 individuals clustered 60 kilometres from Niger’s capital, Niemey. Since 1994, ASGN has worked with the government of Niger and several international wildlife societies, banning poaching and creating conservation projects to protect the subspecies. The animals now number 220, making this one of the fastest repopulation efforts in giraffe-conservation history.

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