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Bucking the dismal decline in wildlife: Amboseli numbers are going up

Amboseli Conservation Program’s five decades of continuous monitoring the Amboseli region shows an astonishing turnaround for wildlife after years of decline. Many species are now more abundant than forty-five years ago, a remarkable contrast to the rapid losses across Africa and around the world. What explains this small point of light in a gloomy outlook for wildlife? What lessons does Amboseli offer conservation? And how can the success be kept up as the space for wildlife shrinks? As scientists patch

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Dynamics of a Socially and Spatially Structured Giraffe Population in a Human-Natural Landscape

Sociality involves a constant trade-off between fitness benefits and costs of living in groups, and this trade-off can be influenced by the social and ecological environment in which individuals live. In this PhD I explored socioecological factors underlying the social and spatial population structure and dynamics of a large tropical herbivore with a highly fission-fusion social system, the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). Using a dataset of more than 3,000 uniquely identified individuals collected over a period of 8 years in the

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The giraffe and its food resource in the Serengeti. II. Response of the giraffe population to changes in the food supply

The dynamics of the giraffe population of the Serengeti were quantified to ascertain the response of the population to the increasing biomass of the available browse resource. Aerial counts conducted in 1971 and 1976 together with analyses of fecundity and mortality data suggest a rate of population increase of some 5-6% per annum. Compared with the dynamics of a stable giraffe population in Nairobi National Park, the sub-adult components of the Serengeti regional populations are larger and juvenile growth rates

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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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Kidney of Giraffes

This study focuses on certain aspects of the renal structure of the giraffe, with some implications as to its function. About 4,000 collecting ducts open at the truncated end of a curved crest that juts into the renal pelvis as the inner medulla (IM). Extensions of the pelvis pass between the medullary (MP) and vascular (VP) processes almost to the corticomedullary border. The MPs contain an IM and an outer medulla (OM) containing clusters of capillaries (vascular bundles). The VPs

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Characterization of 16 microsatellite marker loci in the Maasai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi)

Sixteen polymorphic microsatellite markers with an average allele size of k = 4.3 are identified from a genomic plasmid library constructed for giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis ssp.). Primer sequences and marker data are reported in tabular form. The markers were screened in a population of 25 Maasai giraffe (G. c. tippelskirchi) collected near the Athi River, Kenya. The average observed heterozygosity for each marker was 0.36 with an average expected heterozygosity of 0.535. Hardy-Weinberg deviations are reported from this population, which

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Etorphine-Azaperone Immobilisation for Translocation of Free-Ranging Masai Giraffes (Giraffa Camelopardalis Tippelskirchi): A Pilot Study

Etorphine-azaperone immobilisation was evaluated for translocation of Masai giraffes. Nine giraffes were darted with 0.012 ± 0.001 mg/kg etorphine and 0.07 ± 0.01 mg/kg azaperone. Once ataxic, giraffes were roped for recumbency and restrained manually. Naltrexone (3 mg/mg etorphine) was immediately given intravenously to reverse etorphine-related side effects. Protocol evaluation included physiological monitoring, blood-gas analyses, anaesthetic times, and quality scores (1 = excellent, 4 = poor). Sedation onset and recumbency were achieved in 2.6 ± 0.8 and 5.6 ± 1.4

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Blood flow and pressure in the giraffe carotid artery

1. Carotid artery blood pressure and blood flow were measured and telemetered from wild giraffes ranging freely on the African plains. 2. The blood pressure ranged between 260/160 mm Hg when the animal was lying flat, and 120/75 mm Hg when it was standing upright; dp/dt at the onset of systole was 1500 mm/sec. 3. Peak systolic blood velocity measured at the same site was 60 cm/sec; during diastole velocity remained above 40 cm/sec. Calculated blood flow in the carotid

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The effects of increased hay-grain ratio on masai giraffe behavior, health indicators and fecal microflora diversity

We hypothesized that switching to a diet that provides a higher hay-to-grain ratio offered to four Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo would reduce oral stereotypies and increase time spent performing feeding behaviors, maintain or increase serum calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, decrease serum insulin-to-glucose ratio, and alter fecal microbiome community structure. The diet change consisted of transitioning the male from a 50:50 hay-to-grain ratio and the females from a 70:30 hay-to-grain ratio to a 90:10 ratio in even

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