From a purely reductionist ecological perspective, it is impossible to fully understand giraffe without understanding the plants that they eat. At the most fundamental level - on the molecular scale - giraffe are comprised entirely of the same proteins, molecules and atoms that comprise the browse they consume. In this way, from an evolutionary view, diet selection is an mechanism to ingest some type of molecular stoichiometry that is most conducive to survival and reproduction. Perhaps
ore simply stated, nutrition is key for making more giraffe and healthier giraffe.
As the seasons progress and landscape responds, we have returned to Murchison Falls National Park to continue our ongoing giraffe population studies. After a few days in the capital city, the open skies and broad horizons of the Ugandan bush offer a welcome contrast to the vehicles and concrete. The change in mentality is almost instantaneous, as we transition to the daily rhythm of field work. On the northern banks of the Victoria Nile, the landscape is verdant. Having just experienced several months of wet season, the plants have responded with remarkable vigor; green leafy trees and tall swards of grass have certainly taken advantage of the abundance of water. Areas that were easily drivable during the dry season surveys have since become impassably quagmired and the termite mounds that were so perceptible a few months prior are once again masked by the tall grasses that erupt from the parched earth following the rains.