Niger's giraffe population on the rise again

Jan 07, 2014
A Niger giraffe named Houbou feeds her baby on August 24, 2005 at the Zoo des Sables d'Olonne in France

The small number of surviving giraffes in western Africa is on the rise again, after 366 were counted in southwest Niger in 2012, up from 311 the previous year, official figures published Tuesday showed.

The latest figure includes 177 males and 189 females, said Niger's ASGN department for the environment and preservation of giraffes.

ASGN, which cooperates closely with a zoo in the northwestern French town of Doue La Fontaine, finances projects to raise awareness among local populations that the world's tallest living terrestrial animal and largest ruminant should be better protected.

Giraffe numbers were down to a mere 50 just 15 years ago when a protected habitat was established in scrubland around Koure, about a one-hour drive from the capital Niamey.

In 2006, studies found that population was the last of the peralta giraffe variety which is threatened by extinction due to an advancing desert and farming, environmentalists say.

Their shrinking habitat pushes them to migrate hundreds of kilometres (miles) from their usual grounds, as far as neighbouring Nigeria, making them an easier prey for poachers.

Explore further: Environmental factors help limit gene flow between different giraffe species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Niger rare giraffe population makes a comeback

Mar 07, 2012

The last West African giraffes, now living in the wild only in southwestern Niger, are making a comeback with numbers standing at 310 last year, the environment ministry said here Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

6 hours ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

Jul 24, 2014

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

Noise pollution impacts fish species differently

Jul 24, 2014

Acoustic disturbance has different effects on different species of fish, according to a new study from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter which tested fish anti-predator behaviour.

User comments : 0