Conservation genetics of an isolated giraffe population in Swaziland

Author(s)James D. Austin, Shannon Moore, Robert A. McCleery, Jaclyn Colton, Tal Finberg and Ara Monadjem
Year Published2017
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Page Numbers1-6
Size257.04 KB
Abstract:

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) are a critical component of the savannah’s browsing guild (Birkett, 2002), although their distribution is discontinuous and the species has declined over most of the range (Fennessy, 2008). Often confined to protected areas, management of the giraffes has increasingly focused on maintaining small, closed populations including private lands or conservation areas (Brenneman et al., 2009b). The mating system and social structure of giraffe evolved in large, continuous savannah habitats. Females may only be sexually receptive for a few days every 2 weeks of oestrous cycle (Bercovitch, Bashaw & del Castillo, 2006), and males will travel up to 20 km per day in search of oestrous females (Du Toit, 2001). The nature of their highly varied range sizes (van der Jeugd & Prins, 2000; Fennessy, 2009), and potential for long distance seasonal movements (Le Pendu & Ciofolo, 1999; Berger, 2004), makes understanding the potential impacts of managing giraffe as closed, fragmented populations an important research goal.

Keywords: South African giraffes, Genetic diversity, Fecal analysis, Conservation genetics, Swaziland

Authors: James D. Austin, Shannon Moore, Robert A. McCleery, Jaclyn Colton, Tal Finberg and Ara Monadjem

Journal: African Journal of Ecology


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