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Giraffe - The Facts

Current giraffe status?


Giraffa camelopardalis


IUCN      - Least Concern: as a species

               - Endangered: G.c. peralta (West African or Nigerian giraffe)

               - Endangered: G.c. rothschildi (Rothschild's or Baringo giraffe)


CITES     - Not Listed


The total number of giraffes in Africa was estimated by IUCN in 1999 to exceed 140,000, (of which 40% were in or around protected areas and private lands) and such numbers were thought capable of being maintained were they adequately protected.


Current estimates by the GCF have the population at less than 80,000 individuals across all (sub)species. This is a considerable drop in the last decade and shows that the plight of giraffe is in real danger. Efforts are underway to build up an accurate census of the entire population – working closely with IUCN SSC ASG International Giraffe Working Group. With the exception of Angolan, Cape and West African giraffe, all other subspecies are either decreasing and/or unstable. Poaching, human population growth, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and habitat degradation continue to impact on the giraffe’s distribution across the continent.


Today, the important safety havens for giraffe in Africa include but are not limited to: Waza N. P. and the adjacent hunting zones (Cameroon), Zakouma N. P. (Chad), southwest Niger, Murchison Falls N. P. (Uganda), the Mara/Serengeti ecosystem (Kenya/Tanzania), Selous/Ruaha (Tanzania), Laikipia (Kenya), South Luangwa N. P. (Zamibia) and in southern Africa: Etosha N. P. (Namibia), Okavango Delta (Botswana), Hwange N. P. (Zimbabwe) and Kruger N. P. (South Africa).

Giraffe distribution map (c) GCF

List of (sub)species:

Angolan giraffe (G. c. angolensis)             < 15,000

Kordofan giraffe (G. c. antiquorum)           < 2,000

Masai giraffe (G. c. tippelschirchi)             < 37,000

Nubian giraffe (G. c. camelopardalis)        < 650

Reticulated giraffe (G. c. reticulata)           < 7,700

Rothschild's giraffe (G. c. rothschildi)        < 1,500

South African giraffe (G. c. giraffa)            < 17,000

Thornicroft’s giraffe (G c. thornicrofti)        < 550

West African giraffe (G. c. peralta)            < 400


* Read more at 'Taxonomy, Evolution and Scientific Classification'.