Studying Giraffes at CCF
- by Elizabeth Pius June 17, 2019
Since June 2018 I have been working on one of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) ongoing projects, giraffe monitoring which started back in 2003. Documenting all the necessary data on CCF giraffes. Records include both old and new born giraffes, population structure (group size, age and sex) and pictures. Most individuals are identified based on their unique coat patterns and many are yet to be identified. The last known population size was 120 in total including all age groups (Adults, sub-adults and calves), with females dominating the population.
This year, as part of my honours degree thesis, been collecting more detailed data on giraffes in Bellebenno, which is CCF’s only game-fenced farm. The study aims to better understand the social structure and spatial distribution of giraffe population over seasons (wet and dry). Giraffes are a popular species and they have a high tourism value especially in private game farms, in order to keep the population healthy, more in depth knowledge is essential. The study will help determine the carrying capacity, as well as help researchers and farm managers understand giraffes distribution and social structure and aid in making future farm management decisions based on the study’s results. Data analysis is due in July 2019, once sufficient data for both seasons are collected.