Yesterday Wild Nature Institute's Dr. Derek Lee spent a stimulating day training Tanzanian university students and staff from the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) about techniques for monitoring giraffes.
Derek discussed field study design, data collection methods, and how to use WildID software to create a database of individual giraffes. The database contains information about where and when each giraffe was seen, along with the giraffe's age, sex, and any other variables of interest. This information enables researchers to calculate population sizes by age and sex class. Mark-recapture statistics can be used to estimate survival, reproduction, and movements, enabling researchers to determine what might be causing a population to increase or decrease.
The overall goal is to scale-up long-term giraffe population monitoring to other regions of Tanzania, to quantify population trends for conservation, and to help ensure a future for this magnificent mega-herbivore.
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