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 are widespread; however, in a recent preliminary population estimate, an unnoticed decline in the total population as occurred because of habitat degradation and illegal hunting.
The aim of this thesis was to investigate and assess the ecology, behaviour and conservation status of the Masai giraffe in the two largest PAs in Tanzania, which have different management objectives. In these two areas, the effect of illegal off-take on the sex ratio, the factors affecting groupsize and vigilance behaviour, and the effect of management objectives were assessed, and a hormonal investigation was conducted to determine the response towards threats.