We just completed our sixth year of surveys collecting identification photos for giraffes in the Tarangire Ecosystem of Tanzania. We use the giraffes' unique spot patterns to identify individuals and map their movements around the ecosystem. We also calculate their survival and reproduction in different areas and at different times of the year, and examine how the environment, human influences, and season affect their fitness.
Each evening, after completing surveys for the day, we make camp in the bush. We enjoy a cup of juice, cook up some dinner as the sun sets, and of course back up all the day's data on the field laptop.
To date, we've identified and are tracking more than 3,000 individual giraffes in our study area. Our results are helping to understand where giraffes are doing well and where they are not, and why. This information is useful in developing effective conservation measures for this magnificent mega-herbivore, so giraffes can continue to grace the savanna as they have for the past million years.
As always, we are grateful to our generous donors for helping us to accomplish this work. Thank you for six years of giraffe conservation research!
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