Increasing Number Of Giraffes In North-west Namibia

5 Dec 2023

The so-called desert giraffes apparently feel at home in the northern Namib Desert. "The giraffe population in northwest Namibia has increased steadily", reported the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) in its latest newsletter. From July 2022 to June 2023, 17 calves were recorded in the observation area.

According to the GCF, this brought the total number of animals recorded and identified to 450. This is despite the desert-adapted lions that live in the area and successfully hunt giraffes. The GCF's observation area stretches from the Kunene River in the north to beyond the Hoanib Rivier (dry river) in the south. It covers more than 30,000 square kilometres, making it as large as Belgium.

17 of the giraffes are fitted with GPS transmitters so that their movements can be tracked. One giraffe bull travelled more than 3,560 km during the year - an average of almost 10 km per day. Its 'territory' is over 2,770 km² in size. This corresponds to a square with an edge length of more than 52 km. The small, lightweight transmitters are attached to the giraffe's ear and are powered by solar energy.

Similar to the elephants and lions in north-west Namibia, the 'desert giraffes' are not a separate species. They have merely adapted to their habitat. Namibia is home to the Angolan giraffe (Giraffa giraffa angolensis), a subspecies of the southern giraffe (Giraffa giraffa).

The GCF reveals more about the giraffes in north-west Namibia in its annual report.

Desert-adapted giraffes in the northern Namib Desert.
Photo: GCF


Sven-Eric Stender

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