With less than 670 individuals left in the wild, the Rothschild’s giraffe is a rare breed indeed. Although their presence was once plentiful across Kenya, Uganda and Sudan, the Rothschild’s giraffe now only exists in a few small, isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda.
The main threat to these gorgeous creatures is the loss of habitat. Human settlement, farming activities, and deforestation have pushed the giraffe out of areas they would normally inhabit. In fact, the Rothschild’s giraffe can now only be found in the protected, fenced environments of National Parks and private wildlife sanctuaries.
Yet, despite its Endangered status, the Rothschild’s giraffe has been the subject of little research. Enter the Rothschild’s Giraffe Project – which is conducting the first detailed scientific assessment of the Rothschild’s giraffe in the wild. Their mission is to collect important data that will be crucial to the effective design and implementation of long-term conservation plans.
One of the most interesting things about the Rothschild’s Giraffe is that recent research suggests that their genetic material is significantly different to that of other giraffe subspecies - meaning that the Rothschild’s giraffe could possibly evolve to form a new species of giraffe. This unique evolutionary potential - combined with the animal’s current classification - make the work being done by the Rothschild’s Giraffe Project an urgent and immediate priority. In collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service, this exciting project aims to ensure the long term survival of all giraffe populations across Kenya.