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Giraffe skin disease: Clinicopathologic characterization of cutaneous filariasis in the critically endangered Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis)

Giraffe skin disease (GSD) is an emerging disease of free-ranging giraffe recognized in the last 25 years in several species, including the critically endangered Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis) of Uganda. Identifying the cause of GSD and understanding its impact on health were deemed paramount to supporting these vulnerable populations. Sixty-four giraffes were immobilized in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, from 2017 to 2019, and GSD lesions were opportunistically biopsied. Fifty-five giraffes (86%) had GSD lesions on the neck, axilla,

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Large herbivore dynamics in northern Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

We compared densities and distribution of wild ungulates and domestic livestock based on aerial surveys conducted during 1991 – 2010 in northern parts of Gonarezhou National Park (GNP), Zimbabwe. The sampled area covered approximately 320 km2 (Chipinda Pools area) representing ca. 27 % of the GNP, which was colonized by a few herder families along with their cattle in the year 2000. We hypothesized that (1) human and livestock encroachment in the park would lead to decline in densities of

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Dietary abundance distributions: Dominance and diversity in vertebrate diets

Diet composition is among the most important yet least understood dimensions of animal ecology. Inspired by the study of species abundance distributions (SADs), we tested for generalities in the structure of vertebrate diets by characterising them as dietary abundance distributions (DADs). We compiled data on 1167 population-level diets, representing >500 species from six vertebrate classes, spanning all continents and oceans. DADs near-universally (92.5%) followed a hollow-curve shape, with scant support for other plausible rank-abundance-distribution shapes. This strong generality is inherently

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Paradise lost: large mammal remains as a proxy for environmental change from MIS 6 to the Holocene in southern Africa

Analyses of faunal remains are a key means of inferring palaeoenvironmental change. In this paper, the use of faunal remains as a proxy for environmental conditions from Marine Isotope Stage 6 to the Holocene in southern Africa is reviewed. The focus of this review is on large herbivore abundance and how these fluctuate temporally and regionally in accordance with palaeo-climatic shifts. Here, southern Africa is divided into four eco-regions loosely based on climatic, biotic and zoogeographic traits: the Cape Floristic

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Social Network-Proximity Association: Preliminary Evaluation of Giraffe Sociality in a Zoo-Housed Group

Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are found in zoos all over the world. In recent years, numerous researchers have documented complex sociality in these mammals. They highlighted that giraffes have non-random preferences in their choices of social partners, which can depend on various factors such as age, sex, and kinship. One of the still little-known aspects is how the social structure of giraffes is formed in captivity. Moreover, the scientific literature about some aspects of the social structure of giraffes in captivity

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Preliminary Behavioural Observations of Horseback Safaris: Initial Insights into the Welfare Implications for Horses and Herbivorous Plains Game Species

In Africa, wildlife‐watching experiences create substantial revenue from tourists that can finance wildlife conservation. Horseback safaris, where an experienced guide takes guests through the bush on horseback to observe plains game species, are a popular activity. Close encounters between ridden horses and game species are unnatural and potentially stressful situations, and horseback safaris may have adverse impacts on both the horses and the wildlife they have come to observe. This study aims to provide a preliminary insight into the behavioural

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Reproductive seasonality in African ungulates in relation to rainfall

Context. Reproductive seasonality in ungulates has important fitness consequences but its relationship to resource seasonality is not yet fully understood, especially for ungulates inhabiting equatorial environments. Aims. We test hypotheses concerning synchronisation of conception or parturition peaks among African ungulates with seasonal peaks in forage quality and quantity, indexed by rainfall. Methods. We relate monthly apparent fecundity and juvenile recruitment rates to monthly rainfall for six ungulate species inhabiting the Masai Mara National Reserve (Mara) of Kenya, using cross-correlation analysis

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New fossils of Giraffoidea (Mammalia: Artiodactyla) from the Lothidok Formation (Kalodirr Member, Early Miocene, West Turkana, Kenya) contribute to our understanding of early giraffoid diversity

Excavations at Kalodirr and Moruorot from the Lothidok Formation (ca. 17 mya) in the West Turkana Region of Kenya have yielded several cranial appendages, dentitions and postcranial fossils that can be attributed to either Climacoceratidae or the Giraffidae. An additional unusual and unique fossil, we describe in this paper for the first time, is, in our opinion, a novel stem-giraffoid cranial appendage. The Climacoceras from Kalodirr is the oldest representative of the genus, extending Climacoceratidae into the Early Miocene. We

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A New Species of Rhipicephalus (Acari: Ixodidae), a Parasite of Giraffes in Kenya

A new tick species belonging to the genus Rhipicephalus Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae), namely, Rhipicephalus walkerae n. sp., is described. The male and female of this species are similar to those of several species in the Rhipicephalus appendiculatus group but can be distinguished from them by the very dense pattern of medium-sized punctations covering the conscutum and scutum, long and narrow dorsal prolongation of the spiracular plate, and relatively short dorsal cornua; in addition, the male has long and narrow

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Giraffe Translocation From Aberdare Country Club To Sera Wildlife Conservancy

The giraffe population among other species in Aberdare Country Club (ACC) sanctuary has been viewed by the management to exert unhealthy pressure to the habitat. Kenya Wildlife Service was informed of this situation and sent a team of scientists to carry out a rapid assessment and come up with recommendations. The team concluded that, since 1988 when the giraffes were introduced into the sanctuary there has been a steady increase in their population and subsequently this impacted negatively on the

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