We’ve written about GPS tracking wildlife before ranging from bears, deer, wolves, and marine life. Now we can add giraffes to the list. Just like tracking other species, the British Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) hopes to better the lives of both giraffes and humans by implementing GPS tracking. The West African giraffe species is endangered and experiencing threats to their survival from all directions. Even though the population has risen from 50 in the late 1990s to about 200 today thanks to conservation efforts, these animals are still in a precarious predicament. Julian Fennessy, a Kenya-based professional collaborating on the satellite-collaring project, postulates for the giraffe population to be double that in order for the species to be out of trouble. Since their habitat is being destroyed, there is more competition, resulting in some giraffes wandering farther for food. Despite a five-year jail penalty for killing a giraffe and the fact that the species is endangered, these long-necked creatures are subject to poachers. Drought and habitat loss from illegal woodcutting add to the species’ woes.
The point of the trial run is to “help us to understand the expanding population better and the extent of their range as they move into new frontiers,” explained Fennessy. “In turn, this will enable us to educate the local communities and help them to understand the importance of preserving the giraffe.”
Even though the logistics of fitting such large animals with GPS trackers is complicated, helping the giraffes is well worth the challenge. GPS tracking yet again serves the best interests of both humans and animals.
(Via The Guardian)