Population census of Thornicroft’s giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti in Zambia, 1973−2003: conservation reassessment required

Thornicroft’s giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti is limited in distribution to a single population resident in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. During 1973 - 2003 regular counts were recorded along the Luangwa River in the core section of the subspecies’ range. In 2013 we conducted a count in the same region for comparison with the earlier survey results. During the 30-year period 1973 - 2003 the giraffe index (no. of individuals per km surveyed) was relatively stable, with an increase in 1994 and 1995 coinciding with an influx of giraffes to the west bank following an exceptionally reduced flow of the Luangwa River. The mean giraffe index during this period was 0.51 km‾¹, whereas the 2013 count yielded an index of 0.44 km‾¹. Given the limited range of the Thornicroft’s giraffe, we estimate that the population comprises c. 500–600 individuals.

Last Updated
January 27, 2021
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