The Luangwa Valley Giraffe

Observations by the author on Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti between 1963 and 1969 are supplemented by other data. Its distribution in recent years has extended northwards as far as 11*50' South on the east bank of the Luangwa River and its number have increased on the west bank in placed previously sparsely inhabited. It is difficult to estimate the total population but there may be 270 -- 300 and possibly more as they are believed to be increasing. Calving probably takes place throughout the year with a peak towards the end of the wet season. Most sightings have been of groups of 1 to 5 animals though the largest herd seen was 21. Luangwa Valley giraffe mainly frequent open woodlands and riparian forest, very seldom more open country. Important food plants are Securinega virosa, Tamarindus indica, Kigelia pinnata, Capparis tomentosa, and several Acacia species. Giraffe are preyed upon by lion and there is one record of leopard predation on a calf. Giraffe occasionally  emit sounds with the mouth or snort when alarmed. Both species of oxpeckers associate with giraffe, the Red-billed (Buphagus erythrohynchus) more frequently than the Yellow-billed (B. africanus).

Last Updated
January 27, 2021
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