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Vertical zonation of browse quality in tree canopies exposed to a size-structured guild of African browsing ungulates

We investigated whether the food quality of tree foliage for African savanna browsers varies across the feeding height range of the guild. This was to address the question of why giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) generally feed at a higher level in the canopy than is accessible to all other browsers. We defined a giraffe browse unit (GBU) as the length of twig corresponding to the average “bite” taken by giraffes from two staple browse plants: Acacia nigrescens and Boscia albitrunca. We

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Testing the interspecific body size principle in ungulates: the smaller they come, the harder they groom

Tick removal grooming may be centrally regulated by an internal timing mechanism operating to remove ticks before they attach and engorge (programmed grooming model) and/or evoked by cutaneous stimulation from tick bites (stimulus-driven model). The programmed grooming model predicts that organismic and environmental factors that impact the cost–benefit ratio of grooming (e.g. body size and habitat) will influence the rate of tick removal grooming. The body size principle predicts that smaller-sized animals, because of their greater surface-to-mass ratio, should engage

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Conservation Genomics of Two Threatened Subspecies of Northern Giraffe: The West African and the Kordofan Giraffe

Three of the four species of giraffe are threatened, particularly the northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), which collectively have the smallest known wild population estimates. Among the three subspecies of the northern giraffe, the West African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta) had declined to 49 individuals by 1996 and only recovered due to conservation efforts undertaken in the past 25 years, while the Kordofan giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis antiquorum) remains at <2300 individuals distributed in small, isolated populations over a large geographical range

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Giraffe males have longer suckling bouts than females

In polygynous mammals, females are expected to bias maternal investment in favor of male calves. The mother should invest more in males to enhance their reproductive success in adulthood, or the males require greater investment as they are bigger and stronger than females. In this study, we used nursing duration to compare the difference in the amount of maternal investment provided by females. We compared differences according to sex of the offspring and the influence of calves’ identification by sniffing,

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Why Giraffes have Anxiety

The location of zoos in metropolitan areas exposes animals to stressors that they are not biologically adapted to. The abundance of visitors and their close proximity to the animals causes undue harm to the creatures’ welfare, resulting in a poor quality of life.

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Improving the precision and accuracy of animal population estimates with aerial image object detection

1. Animal population sizes are often estimated using aerial sample counts by human observers, both for wildlife and livestock. The associated methods of counting remained more or less the same since the 1970s, but suffer from low precision and low accuracy of population estimates. 2. Aerial counts using cost‐efficient Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or microlight aircraft with cameras and an automated animal detection algorithm can potentially improve this precision and accuracy. Therefore, we evaluated the performance of the multi‐class convolutional neural

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Deriving observation distances for camera trap distance sampling

Camera trap distance sampling (CTDS)o is a recently developed survey method to estimate animal abundance from camera trap data for unmarked populations. It requires the estimation of camera-animal observation distances, which previously was done by comparing animal positions to reference labels at predefined intervals. Here, we test a photogrammetry approach to derive camera-animal observation distances. We applied both, the reference label and photogrammetry approaches to five ungulate species varying widely in body size (Giraffa camelopardalis, Equus grevyi, Oryx dammah, Kobus

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Between overstocking and extinction: conservation and the intensification of uneven wildlife geographies in Africa

Conservation news from Africa generally seems to exude crisis. Over the last decade, especially, we have witnessed the increasingly visible decline of charismatic species such as the rhino, elephant, cheetah, lion, giraffe and others, coupled with an ongoing defaunation of many forested areas. What is much less visible is that in certain areas an important countertrend is also occurring: the growth of wildlife species, most notably through the stocking of private lands and initiatives to develop broader wildlife economies. This

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Foot shape and radiographs of free-ranging Nubian giraffe in Uganda

Foot health in zoo giraffe has been a topic of recent research, although little is known about the foot health of free-ranging giraffe. This study describes the foot shape and radiographic pathological changes in 27 young adult Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis) from a translocation in Uganda (August 2017). Giraffe feet were observed to have a concave sole, the hoof wall was longest by the toe tip, and the weight-bearing surface of the foot was primarily along the periphery of

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Ephemeral and Perpetual Diversity in Giraffa Camelopardalis

It is necessary to understand how giraffes could have evolved. We came up with Darwin’s theory, Lamarckism, and so forth. However, in a manuscript, I classified the species of Giraffa Camelopardalis in light of the heights as an arbitrary principle. Nevertheless, I wrote a paper on classifying Giraffa Camelopardalis species using heights as the reference point. It highlights the evolution of the giraffe posture in light of two characteristics of its postures, namely ephemeral diversity and perpetual diversity. Our theory

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