Why do we do what we do?
This is an amazing movie trailer from NatGeo for "Last of the Longnecks," Please watch it's only 2 minutes long!
There are fewer giraffes left in the world today than elephants. In fact, there are 4x as many elephants than giraffes and virtually no one has a clue that the giraffe is "more endangered than any gorilla, or any large mammal in the world", says Julian Fennesy, executive director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation." (Source: www.earthfirstjournal.org)
Will you help save me?
Now is the time to Stop the Silent Extinction of Giraffes #StandTallWithGiraffes
What Do We Do here at Savannah Giraffe?
Very simply, we are a nonprofit organization that raises money for giraffe conservation.
But that's not all we do! We also work hard to raise awareness of the giraffes' precarious existence in the wild, develop fundraising projects for giraffe conservation which also have a positive impact on our environment, and engage people and communities in projects which encourage future conservation action and involvement.
In the future, we will be involved in creating partnerships to develop new technology which will change the way pieces of the conservation puzzle are looked at and arranged. Through the development of technology and innovative ideas, I hope to take conservation in a whole new direction in the future for all species through collective collaboration and a coalition of experts in their respective fields!
A Precarious Future
"The IUCN Red List identified four major threats to giraffe populations: habitat loss, recreational killing, civil unrest and ecological changes."(Source: Giraffes Silently Slip Onto the Endangered Species List)
According to the Giraffe Conservation Alliance, "Dramatic declines in wild giraffe populations is a very real threat to this iconic species. With populations already diminished, giraffes lack resilience to the complex web of natural and anthropogenic threats they face.
Additionally, Congolese populations consider the tail to be a status symbol, used as dowry while asking for a girl’s hand in marriage. Some tribes are also known to kill these animals for meat. However, poaching for body parts, which is different, remains one of the biggest threats to their survival. Apart from tails, illegal trade in giraffe marrow, touted to cure AIDS, has also contributed to their decline." (Source: Giraffes Silently Slip Onto the Endangered Species List )
Another threat to the giraffes, according to a groups' analysis of import data, Americans imported 21,402 bone carvings, 3,008 skin pieces, and 3,744 miscellaneous hunting trophies from giraffes over the past decade. At least 3,700 individual giraffes are thought to have been killed for such items." (O. Milman, www.theguardian.com).
"Habitat loss due to deforestation, land use conversion, agricultural activities, mining activities and human settlements are the biggest threats to giraffe populations. Additionally, civil wars and unrest, as in countries like Sudan, have affected their numbers as well." (Source: Giraffes Silently Slip Onto the Endangered Species List )
At the same time, limited conservation and research have been undertaken on giraffe across Africa."
"The giants strike many as so gentle and unobtrusive—quietly grazing on treetops, bending down to touch noses with a newborn—that discovering that they too, like most of the world's megafauna, are headed toward extinction is like a blow to the gut." (Source:National Geographic)
"But. with all of us working together, we can save this species!"
-Dawn Hebert-Miller, Director
So What Can Be Done?
The dire situation in which we find the giraffes of Africa has been a gradual, insidious process. A process that happened right before our eyes without anyone really noticing it until it was almost too late. But, almost is the key word. It is not too late for these animals if we do not hesitate, but instead take sharp and decisive action and work ceaselessly to preserve these precious animals in their rightful place among their natural wild African habitat.
What Can Be Done?
All the news about giraffes is not bad, in fact in South Africa giraffe populations have risen over the past 30 years.
"This success is because of strong conservation efforts, which are, in turn, supported by tourism. South Africa understands that to maintain its tourism sector, it has to protect wildlife. This leads to robust investments in parks, strong enforcement mechanisms, and ample space for animals like giraffes to roam." (Source:GlobalCitizen.org )
In addition, since most income is sourced from tourism, this discourages villagers from harboring poachers in exchange for payment. They instead discourage poachers in favor of protecting wildlife which sustains their economic sustenance.
"Giraffe are an important icon of Africa (and the world) and as such are a key tourism attraction and an economic draw card for Africa. This collaborative effort continues to improve our understanding of giraffe as a keystone species and ensures their long-term success in the wild."(Source:Giraffe Conservation Status-GCF )
In other parts of Africa, however, civil unrest and habitat loss are secondary to human demands. Lack of funding and knowledge of the importance of conservation in these areas negatively impact the numbers of giraffes in these areas. As long as these areas are unstable, conservation efforts are impossible to enforce. People are fighting for survival and cannot think about conserving a giraffe. Humanitarian efforts are needed in these areas to give a secure environment for the people before any form of education on conservation can take place.
"For conservation to succeed in these most vulnerable areas, there needs to be international coordination to build the infrastructure and fund the necessary personnel to enforce that infrastructure once it is established.
For these reasons, funds are needed to increase education on the importance of relocation of giraffes from these areas to safer locations in order to ensure their immediate safety.
Here is a short video of conservation at work!
There are many amazing conservation groups out there doing amazing work to save this beautiful species, and we are here to help with their efforts!
Raising Awareness of Giraffe's Plight
A continuous dedication to raising awareness of the giraffe's perilous existence and building a committed coalition of advocates who will stand together and fight for a secure and protected future for the giraffes is imperative to the species survival.
Funding is necessary to educate school-aged children in Africa about the importance of conservation, the preservation of wildlife and to establish a human-wildlife bond which will hopefully lead to the conservationists of the future! Many children in Africa have never even seen a giraffe in person!
The KEEP Programme
The KEEP programme, which is run by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Africa is a fantastic example of education contributing to giraffe conservation! Find out more about the KEEP programme and the work being done teaching children about conservation and getting them in touch with their natural heritage at the Giraffe Conservation Foundation's website!
Preservation and restoration of the environment and appreciation for the rich sustenance which can be gained from a healthy and biodiverse habitat is another important educating point. Developing an understanding between cultures built upon mutual respect, dignity, and a genuine desire to improve the lives of others results in improved communication and appreciation for the conservation and wildlife connections.
Of course, continued research leads to more effective conservation efforts. Evidence-based practices are the best practices so funding for research into the what and why of giraffes is essential. Please refer to the article written in the Blog section of the website regarding the importance of research and species recognition in giraffes for an example of how research improves conservation efforts.