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Cutaneous Filariasis in Free-ranging Rothschild’s Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) in Uganda

Across Africa, wild giraffes suffer from a variety of skin disorders of mostly unknown etiology. With their populations already threatened from anthropogenic factors, it is important to understand infectious disease risks to giraffes. Here we describe filarid parasites and a portion of their genetic sequence associated with skin disease in Rothschild’s giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) in Uganda.

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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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How a Tiny Worm is Irritating the Most Majestic of Giraffes

What is a fly to a giraffe? It’s difficult to imagine a single insect even coming to the attention of these peculiar animals, which weigh in at thousands of pounds and routinely stretch their necks to heights of more than 14 feet. In Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park, however, Michael B. Brown, a wildlife conservation researcher, has noticed something that might be harder to ignore: Whole clouds of insects swarming around the necks of these quadrupedal giants. Under ordinary circumstances,

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Quantifying the severity of giraffe skin disease via photogrammetry analysis of camera trap data

Developing techniques to quantify the spread and severity of diseases afflicting wildlife populations is important for disease ecology, animal ecology, and conservation. Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are in the midst of a dramatic decline, but it is not known whether disease is playing an important role in the broad-scale population reductions. A skin disorder referred to as giraffe skin disease (GSD) was recorded in 1995 in one giraffe population in Uganda. Since then, GSD has been detected in 13 populations in

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Giraffe Skin Disease (GSD): Epidemiology of an Emerging Disease

Diseases can greatly impact wildlife populations by causing temporary or permanent decreases in abundance.  Pathogens also can interact with other factors such as habitat loss, climate change, and overexploitation to cause local extinctions. The iconic Maasai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) is the national animal of the United Republic of Tanzania. The range of giraffe once covered most of Africa, but is presently discontinuous and much reduced as a result of the rinderpest pandemic, poaching, human settlement, deforestation, and expansion of

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Investigation report on giraffe skin disease of Ruaha National Park, Southern Highlands of Tanzania

Giraffe Skin Disease (GSD) is a newly observed condition mainly affecting adult and sub-adult giraffes in Ruaha National Park (RNP). For the first time, the disease was observed at Lunda, northeastern part of RNP in November 2000 but the disease was thought to have existed for some time. A seasonal variation in the prevalence has also been observed with more animals being affected during the rainy season compared to those affected in the dry season. This study was undertaken with

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Spotlight on the Masai Giraffe

Thousands of years ago, the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)–whose exotic appearance led the ancients to speculate it was an unnatural cross between a camel and a leopard–was common throughout all of Africa, Southern Europe, and India, but later became restricted to Africa. As recently as 800 years ago, giraffe disappeared from North Africa as a result of creeping desertification and loss of woodlands. The ranges of giraffe populations have contracted even further during the past half-century due to agricultural land conversion,

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Regional variation of the manifestation, prevalence, and severity of giraffe skin disease: A review of an emerging disease in wild and captive giraffe populations

Large mammals have drastically declined in the past few decades yet we know little about their ecology. Giraffe numbers for instance, have dropped by more than 40% in the last 15 years and recently, a skin disease, has been observed in numerous giraffe populations across Africa. The disease(s), commonly referred to as giraffe skin disease (GSD), manifests as lesions, wrinkled skin, and encrustations that can affect the limbs, shoulder or neck of giraffes. Here, we review GSD cases from literature

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Mapping the spatial configuration and severity of giraffe skin disease in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Giraffe numbers, have dropped by about 40% in the last 20 years, making giraffes a species of conservation concern. In the same period of time, a skin disease has been observed in numerous giraffe populations across Africa. The disease, commonly referred to as giraffe skin disease (GSD), manifests as lesions, wrinkled skin, and encrustations that can affect the limbs, shoulder or neck of giraffes. Giraffe skin disease may hinder movement causing increased susceptibility to predation. In chapter 1, I reviewed

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