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

22 elephants poached in Mozambique in two weeks

4 hours ago

Poachers slaughtered 22 elephants in Mozambique in the first two weeks of September, environmentalists said Monday, warning that killing for ivory by organised syndicates was being carried out on an "industrialised" ...

Pakistan releases smuggled turtles into the wild

9 hours ago

Pakistani officials and environmentalists on Monday released some 200 rare turtles into the River Indus after the reptiles were retrieved from a southwestern Chinese town where they were seized by customs ...

Big science from small insects

14 hours ago

Anniversaries are often a time to look back. But after taking stock of the past, it can be just as important to look to the future.

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

Sep 19, 2014

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

User comments : 0