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Giraffe and okapi: Africa’s forgotten megafauna

The Giraffidae family includes only two living species of ungulates: the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) and the okapi (Okapia johnstoni), both restricted to the African continent. Taxonomically, the Giraffa and Okapia genera separated from each other approximately 16 million years ago (Hassanin et al., 2012), and they now exhibit as many differences as similarities. Today Okapia is represented by one species (Okapia johnstoni; Hart, 2013), though with surprisingly high genetic variation (Stanton et al., 2014), whereas nine subspecies of giraffe are

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Giraffa camelopardalis, Giraffe Assessment by: Muller, Z. et al.

Taxonomic Notes: The IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group (GOSG) currently recognizes a single species, Giraffa camelopardalis. Nine subspecies of Giraffes are currently recognized (Dagg 2014), although some authorities dispute this taxonomic classification (e.g., Groves and Grubb 2011). Several subpopulations of Giraffe, resident in northern Botswana, northwest Zimbabwe, northeastern Namibia and southwestern Zambia, are potentially either G. c. angolensis, or G. c. giraffa but the continued accumulation of information indicates that a future reassessment might be in order. Until

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Assessment of giraffe populations and conservation status in East Africa

Populations of giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis are declining in the wild, with some populations having suffered an 80% decline in the past ten years. In comparison to other large African mammals, giraffes have been largely overlooked in terms of research attention and conservation action. In recent years, the extent to which giraffe populations have declined across Africa has only just started to become apparent. Currently (as of May 2016), giraffes are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of

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A conservation assessment of Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa

Taxonomic notes: Currently, nine subspecies classifications have been proposed for Giraffe (Ansell 1972; Dagg & Foster 1982; Kingdon 1997; East 1999; Grubb 2005; Ciofolo & Pendu 2013). There is considerable uncertainty surrounding the geographic and taxonomic limits of all described subspecies (Fennessy et al. 2013). Furthermore, recent genetic work suggests that several subspecies may even represent distinct species (Brown et al. 2007). Globally, only the forms G. c. peralta from West Africa, which recent genetic evidence has confirmed is indeed

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Overview of the ecology of the Niger giraffe

The giraffe of Niger are the last in all West Africa. It is threatened. They are both genetically and ecologically distinct from other giraffe and are therefore an important biodiversity remnant. Although baseline research has been limited, it does provide snapshots of what has happened to the population’s numbers and distribution over the past decade. Currently, the population is increasing and genetically healthy, however, its range has been significantly reduced and habitat loss and fragmentation continues to be a major

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Giraffe fact sheet

Giraffes are one of the world’s tallest mammals. They are well known for their long necks, long legs, and spotted patterns. Giraffes have small “horns” or knobs on top of their heads that grow to be about five inches long. These knobs are used to protect the head in fights.

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