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Giraffe diurnal recumbent behavior and habitat utilization in Katavi National Park, Tanzania

Resting behaviors play an important role in animals’ daily activities by minimizing energy consumption. Although this may be equally important to other behavioral states for sustaining life, it has not been well studied in the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). This study characterized the bout duration, frequency, and age–sex class differences in diurnal recumbent behavior of free-ranging giraffe. Additionally, it is currently unknown whether giraffe utilize shady or safe areas for diurnal recumbency, as many other animals do. Therefore, we also investigated

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A guide to estimating the age of Masai giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi)

This is a guide for estimating the age of Masai giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) with noninvasive methods.  Giraffes are commonly categorized into three age classes: calf (0 – 1 year), subadult (1 – 5 years) and adult (> 5 years). This categorization, though somewhat arbitrary, has its origins in giraffe life history. After birth, calves remain with their mothers for 12 – 18 months. Age at first reproduction varies but is usually around 4 – 5 for females and 7

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Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation Status of Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) in Tanzania

The focus of this thesis is on the behaviour, ecology and conservation of Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) in Tanzania. Giraffes are the most elegant, conspicuous and tallest animals of the African savannah. Giraffes prefer savannah and are responsible for the architectural beauty of trees through browsing. Giraffes are social but are non territorial because individuals within a group are in constant change. Females are more often in mixed herds with calves, whereas males maintain a primarily solitary life. Giraffes

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An integrated chromosome-scale genome assembly of the Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi)

Background: The Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) is the largest-bodied giraffe and the world’s tallest terrestrial animal. With its extreme size and height, the giraffe’s unique anatomical and physiological adaptations have long been of interest to diverse research fields. Giraffes are also critical to ecosystems of sub-Saharan Africa, with their long neck serving as a conduit to food sources not shared by other herbivores. Although the genome of a Masai giraffe has been sequenced, the assembly was highly fragmented and

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Hierarchical foraging by giraffe in a heterogeneous savannah, Tanzania

Understanding foraging decisions made by wildlife at different spatio-temporal scales is important for wildlife management and conservation. We tested whether foraging decisions by Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi Matschie) differed with scales; habitat, patch and tree in a heterogeneous savannah. We collected data from Arusha National Park, Tanzania, in March–May and August–October 2013. Visual observations were used to collect data on foraging behaviour. Measurements of tree height and stem height and scoring of accumulated browsing were made in 133 patches

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Giraffe browsing in response to plant traits

Intake rates by large herbivores are governed by among other things plant traits. We used Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi Matschie) as study animals, testing whether they as very large browsers would follow the Jarmane-Bell principle and maximize intake rate while tolerating low forage quality. We worked in Arusha National Park, Tanzania. We investigated how intake rate was determined by bite mass and bite rate, and show that bite mass and bite rate were determined by plant characteristics, governed by

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Factors Affecting Group Size and Vigilance Behaviour of Maasai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) on the Serengeti-Ngorongoro Ecosystem, Tanzania

This study investigated the factors affecting different group sizes of Maasai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) in the Serengeti-Ngorongoro ecosystem. The study was motivated to test the following hypotheses: 1) in a given group, the sex ratio of males to females with calves is related to group size; 2) group size affects vigilance behaviour; 3) illegal hunting influences group size and vigilance behaviour; and 4) group size differs in different habitats, being larger in woodlands during the wet season and in

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How social relationships of female giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) change after calving

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) social structure is described as a fission–fusion society (Bercovitch & Berry, 2009; Shorrocks & Croft, 2009), wherein mother–daughter pairs and specific adult female dyads form strong, continuous social relationships (Bercovitch & Berry, 2013; Carter et al., 2013). Bercovitch & Berry (2013) found that in addition to related individuals, peers are more likely to establish herds than nonpeers. These nonkin relationships may be formed at an early stage through shared membership in a creche (Carter et al., 2013).

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Diurnal Behaviour and Utilization of Shade in Masai Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi)

Observations were carried out in the Masai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya, which is the northern part of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem in Kenya and Tanzania. Activity and behaviour of Masai giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) was recorded with one-minute intervals for continuous periods of approximately twelve hours per day for two weeks in February and March 2007. The total observation time was 200 hours in females, 116 hours in males and 99 hours in offspring. The aim of the study was

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Movements and source–sink dynamics of a Masai giraffe metapopulation

Spatial variation in habitat quality and anthropogenic factors, as well as social structure, can lead to spatially structured populations of animals. Demographic approaches can be used to improve our understanding of the dynamics of spatially structured populations and help identify subpopulations critical for the long-term persistence of regional metapopulations. We provide a regional metapopulation analysis to inform conservation management for Masai giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) in five subpopulations defined by land management designations. We used data from an individual-based mark–recapture

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