The social organization of the last population of giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) in West Africa was studied between October 1996 and December 1997. Population size increased from 51 to 63 individuals during the study period. Groups were larger during the rainy season (mean group size 9.4) than during the dry season (mean group size 6; U=4131; P³0.01). Giraffes did not show strong preferential associations. Group types observed were similar to those expected on the assumption that associations are independent of sex and age. Inter-individual associations were low (mean simple ratio value= 0.1), with an individual associating with only half of its partners of the previous day. Young males interacted more frequently than other classes did. Agonistic interactions occurred mostly among males. Contact interactions (i.e. non-agonistic or sexual) occurred between both sexes and most age classes. Links between local communities, domestic animals, fauna and the environment suggest that environment and development cannot be dissociated in the sustainable exploitation of natural resources.