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 species into protected areas and private land in the Free State Province happened in any case, sometimes regardless of the natural habitat preferences of giraffe (Castley, Boshof & Kerley 2001; Deacon & Tutchings 2019). These authors also affirmed that giraffe had, however, occurred naturally westwards of the Free State, in the Northern Cape Province. The introduced status of the giraffe population in Central South Africa, and in particular the Free State Province, thus raises questions regarding the origin and the taxonomic status of these animals

Last Updated
January 27, 2021
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