Happy World Giraffe Day! These are the first wobbly moments of a newborn critically endangered Nubian giraffe. The uncertain and tenuous steps mark the beginning of a long, dangerous journey to becoming the tallest animal walking the earth. For many of them, it’s not an easy journey: in the wild, giraffe face the pervasive ecological challenges of predation, competition, disease, and uncertain resource distribution. Increasingly, however, many of their threats are manmade: illegal overhunting, habitat loss through land conversion, fragmentation through infrastructure development. Effective conservation of giraffe and animals like them requires understanding how to protect individuals, but also how to foster systems that support populations. Engaging local communities, providing support to local stakeholders, studying key ecological touchpoints for giraffe population dynamics, restoring habitat, protecting corridors and re-establishing populations through conservation translocations all play a role. These systems-level approaches necessitate an expansive toolkit, diverse expertise, and collaborative initiatives.
This year, World Giraffe Day Funds from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation are going to support ambitious conservation translocations in Mozambique to re-establish populations where civil war had decimated them decades ago. Through systems-level approaches like this ambitious translocation, organizations like the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, are working to make the journey of giraffe a little more secure.