Like many of Africa’s charismatic species, giraffes are declining rapidly due to climate change, land pressures, displacement and poaching. Sadly, they are now extinct in seven African countries. In Kenya, there are three giraffe subspecies: Maasai, reticulated, and Rothschild’s. The Maasai giraffe, commonly found in Kenya’s southern rangelands, has declined by 52% since the 1970s. In July 2019, the Maasai giraffe was added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Endangered Species list and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) passed strict regulations on the trading of giraffe parts.

ACC Conservation Safari - Giraffes
Photo © Tom Hill

Maasai Giraffe Research & Conservation Program (MGRCP)

ACC is leading an innovative research program in partnership with Maasai land associations, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and other conservation partners that tracks endangered Maasai giraffes by satellite using solar-powered tracking units placed on the giraffes' ossicones (horns), a process known as collaring. The project is made possible through funding from UNDP-GEF program.

MGRCP is assessing the current status, trends, seasonal movements, habitat utilization, home ranges and conservation prospects for populations of Maasai giraffe in southern Kenya based on long-term ecological monitoring. Solar-powered tracking units will be placed on the giraffes’ horns. The collected data will be used to map the minimum viable area for the Amboseli and South Rift populations and corridors for connecting Maasai giraffe populations across southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.

MGRCP will then prepare conservation strategies and action plans in support of the National Recovery and Action Plan for Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Kenya (2018 – 2022) and similar plans in Tanzania. This research will provide the first picture of detailed giraffe movement vital for conservation planning and protection, including anti-poaching operations and mitigating the impact of infrastructural developments.

The time to act is now. Understanding the spatial ecology of the Maasai giraffe and their transboundary movement into Northern Tanzania, along with the human dimensions of conservation, will be key to protecting these iconic species.

— Arthur Muneza, East Africa Coordinator, Giraffe Conservation Foundation

The Partners

Amboseli Conservation Program
Kenya Wildlife Service Logo
Photo © Tom Hill
Photo © Tom Hill

Adopt a Maasai Giraffe & Help Save This Keystone Species

Our goal is to raise $30,000 by December 31, 2021. This money will be used to hire resource assessors and give our community game guards the vehicle and tracking equipment they need. We welcome any donation amount. African Conservation Centre – US is a 501(c)(3); Your gift is tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law.

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