The world's tallest land-dwelling mammal is facing dramatically dwindling populations: In the last 30 years, the number of giraffes has dropped by more than 40 percent to less than 100,000. In various African countries, the animals have already disappeared completely. Recent genetic studies suggest a split into four species. We work with the Rhodesia giraffe. Learn more below.
Rhodesia giraffe – profile
- Scientific Name: Giraffa ( Giraffa tippelskirchi thornicrofti )
- Size: Males: approx. 4-5.50 m*
Females: approx. 3.50-4.50 m*
- Weight: Males: approx. 970-1,400 kg* –
Females: approx. 700-950 kg*
- Food: In the rainy season mainly foliage of deciduous trees (especially acacia), otherwise also the foliage of evergreen plants
- Number of offspring: Mostly 1 per litter, rarely twins
- Life expectancy:Approx. 25 years*
- Range: Luangwa Valley in Zambia
- Habitat: Usually wide, open grass, bush or tree savannas, mostly near a rivers
- Population size: Less than 500
- Main threats: Habitat loss
*varies by species/gender
Vulnerability status, threats and protection
Since 2018, the Rhodesian giraffe has been classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The IUCN considers the population of 420 adults to be stable. There are no figures on population development.
Habitat conversion into agricultural and settlement areas is the primary cause of endangerment for the Rhodesian giraffe. As agriculture becomes more intensive, humans are increasingly encroaching on the animals' habitat and transforming savannah landscapes into fields and settlements or mining sites.
The low population numbers of the Rhodesian giraffe are alarming. Data on population development, migration, and endangerment are lacking. The Rhodesian giraffe is found in only two protected areas, the South Luangwa and Luambe National Parks. The responsibility of these parks for the survival of the species is enormous.
Emmett, Meghan; Pattrick, Sean (2013): Game Ranger in Your Backpack. All-in-one interpretive guide to the Lowveld. Pretoria: Briza. pp. 64-69