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Giraffe taxonomy, geographic distribution and conservation

The conservation implications of taxonomic pedigrees and geographic distributions are substantial because the two entities are inseparable when the goal is saving bio- diversity and ecosystems. Yet, neither Latin nomenclature nor animal movement patterns are static over time because modifications result as more data are collected. Scientists have recently reassessed both the taxonomy and geographic range of giraffes, Giraffa camelopardalis. Evidence has been presented that giraffes ought to be classified into anywhere from one to nine species, and that their

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Sociability increases survival of adult female giraffes

Studies increasingly show that social connectedness plays a key role in determining survival, in addition to natural and anthropogenic environmental factors. Few studies, however, integrated social, non-social and demographic data to elucidate what components of an animal’s socioecological environment are most important to their survival. Female giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) form structured societies with highly dynamic group membership but stable long-term associations. We examined the relative contributions of sociability (relationship strength, gregariousness and betweenness), together with those of the natural (food

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Social preferences of translocated giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa) in Senegal: Evidence for friendship among females?

Giraffe social behaviour and relationships are currently in the period of scientific renaissance, changing the former ideas of nonexisting social bonds into understanding of complex social structures of giraffe herds. Different giraffe subspecies have been studied in the wild and only one was subject of detailed study in captivity. Our study focused on the neglected Cape giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa). We investigated the social preferences of 28 introduced giraffes in semi-captivity in Bandia reserve, Senegal. Our aim was to assess

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Examining disease prevalence for species of conservation concern using non-invasive spatial capture–recapture techniques

on‐invasive techniques have long been used to estimate wildlife population abundance and density. However, recent technological breakthroughs have facilitated non‐invasive estimation of the proportion of animal populations with certain diseases. Giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis are increasingly becoming recognized as a species of conservation concern with decreasing population trajectories across their range in Africa. Diseases may be an important component impacting giraffe population declines, and the emerging ‘giraffe skin disease’ (GSD ), characterized by the appearance of wrinkled skin and alopecic lesions on

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Theileria spp. in free ranging giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Zambia

Theileria parasites were detected in five apparently healthy free-ranging giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis Linnaeus, 1758) captured for translocation on a game ranch located approximately 60 km south west of Lusaka. Giemsa-stained blood smears examined under a light microscope showed characteristic oval and rod shaped intra-erythrocytic piroplasms. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products targeted on the 18S rRNA gene showed characteristic bands of Theileria spp. The average number of infected blood cells per field examined by light microscopy was estimated at 48.6% (n=50,

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A long life among ruminants: giraffids and other special cases

In order to investigate differences in the relative maximum longevity and other life history parameter between ruminant species, we collated data on mean body mass, maximum longevity, gestation period and newborn mass in wild ruminant and camelid species. Among ruminants, giraffids (giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis and okapi Okapia johnstoni) have particularly high longevities, long gestation periods, and low intrauterine growth rates. A particularly high absolute and relative longevity is also achieved by the anoa (Bubalus depressicornis), a member of the bovinae

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Pigmented villonodular synovitis in a Reticulated giraffe (giraffa camelopardalis)

A 17-yr-old, female, captive-born reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) presented with acute-onset lameness of the right metacarpophalangeal (fetlock) joint. Despite multiple courses of treatment, the lameness and swelling progressively worsened over a 3.5-yr period, and the giraffe was euthanized. At necropsy, gross and microscopic changes in the right, front fetlock and associated flexor tendon sheath included villous synovial hyperplasia and the formation of discrete pigmented nodules within synovial membranes. Histologically, the nodules were composed of abundant, fibrous connective tissue with heavy

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Genetic diversity in fragmented southern African giraffe populations

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is distributed throughout sub-Sahara in savannah habitat. It is currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red Data List, as their numbers are declining. Little is known about the genetic characteristics of giraffe in South Africa. This molecular analysis of the introduced giraffe populations in the Free State Province thus provides new insights into the species’ population genetics across the Province. The specific aims of this study were to quantify the levels of genetic diversity within

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Proximity to humans affects local social structure in a giraffe metapopulation

Experimental laboratory evidence suggests that animals with disrupted social systems express weakened relationship strengths and have more exclusive social associations, and that these changes have functional consequences. A key question is whether anthropogenic pressures have a similar impact on the social structure of wild animal communities. We addressed this question by constructing a social network from 6 years of systematically collected photographic capture–recapture data spanning 1,139 individual adult female Masai giraffes inhabiting a large, unfenced, heterogeneous landscape in northern Tanzania.

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Comparison of anesthesia of adult giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis) using medetomidine-ketamine with and without a potent opioid

Two anesthetic protocols in adult giraffe were compared by retrospective study. Thirteen anesthesia records for medetomidine-ketamine (MK) and seven for medetomidine-ketamine with a potent opioid (MKO) were evaluated for differences in demographic, behavioral, drug, and respiratory parameters. Giraffe stood significantly more quickly with MKO vs MK though MK animals were physically restrained to preclude premature standing as part of normal recovery practices (5.5 min vs 21.4 min, P ¼ 0.01). Regurgitation was recorded in 5/13 and resedation in 4/13 MK

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