Biodiversity conservation depends on influencing human behaviors, but when activities are illegal or otherwise sensitive, actors can be hesitant to admit engagement with illicit behaviors. We applied Specialized Questioning Techniques (SQT) to estimate and compare behavioral prevalence of giraffe meat consumption between direct questioning and two SQTs, Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and Unmatched Count Technique (UCT),
from 2017 to 2019. Comparisons between the two samples yielded significant differences across all three methods, with confidence intervals distinctly divergent between years. The significant disparity between the two samples for all three methods suggests that there was a true reduction in giraffe meat usage from 2017 to 2019. A key change in the study area between the two time periods was the introduction of a community-based program for
giraffe conservation. Primary program activities, including ecological monitoring, community outreach and education, and collaboration with wildlife security teams, align with other conservation programs that have demonstrated reduced poaching pressures. This study demonstrates an application of SQTs to detect a decline of giraffe meat consumption, providing an alternative to self-reported data for monitoring sensitive behaviors related to direct exploitation and illegal uses of wildlife.