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How many species of giraffe are there?

In a recent paper in Current Biology, Fennessy and colleagues [1] conclude that there are four species of giraffe and that their numbers are declining in Africa. Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are presently classifi ed as one species, with nine subspecies, which are considered ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List [2]. The present consensus of one species divided into nine subspecies has previously been questioned (Supplemental information), and Fennessy and colleagues [1] provide another viewpoint on giraffe taxonomy. The fundamental reason

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Response to “How many species of giraffe are there?”

It is not unexpected that a proposal, such as ours [1], of four new mammalian species stirs up controversy, as evident in the correspondence by Bercovitch et al. [2]. We appreciate that their concerns are unrelated to the quality of the genetic data, the methodological approach or analyses, but are focused on the interpretation. Thus, we provided an analysis of giraffe speciation based on genomic sequence data, and not just “another viewpoint on giraffe taxonomy” [2]. We maintain our perspective

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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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The genetic status of the introduced giraffe population in Central South Africa

There has been no reliable historical evidence of giraffe occurring naturally in the Free State Province in Central South Africa (Dagg 1962; Deacon & Parker 2016; Sydney 1965). Although Lynch (1983) mentioned the possibility of the natural distribution of giraffe in the East and Western Free State, there is no concrete evidence that giraffe existed earlier than this in the Free State (Ansell 1968). According to Griesel (1961), Hirst (1966), Lambrechts (1974) and Terblanche and Kok (1995), translocations of the

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Matrilineal population structure and distribution of the Angolan giraffe the Namib desert and beyond

The distribution maps of giraffe (Giraffa) subspecies in southern Africa are based on historical assumptions, yet some populations have likely been misidentified, hindering effective conservation efforts. Particularly, the populations in Zimbabwe are poorly studied, and translocations, such as the 1991 movement of giraffe from Namibia’s Etosha National Park to mitigate the human-induced decline of Namibia’s desert-dwelling giraffe in the lower Hoanib and Hoarusib Rivers, was concluded without consideration of genotype. Mitochondrial DNA sequence analyses from cytochrome b and control region

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Mitochondrial sequences reveal a clear separation between Angolan and South African giraffe along a cryptic rift valley

Background: The current taxonomy of the African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is primarily based on pelage pattern and geographic distribution, and nine subspecies are currently recognized. Although genetic studies have been conducted, their resolution is low, mainly due to limited sampling. Detailed knowledge about the genetic variation and phylogeography of the South African giraffe (G. c. giraffa) and the Angolan giraffe (G. c. angolensis) is lacking. We investigate genetic variation among giraffe matrilines by increased sampling, with a focus on giraffe

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