Policy Piece Giraffe and Okapi: Africa’s forgotten megafauna

Author(s)Noelle F. Kumpel, Sophie Grange and Julian Fennessy
Year Published2015
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Page Numbers132-134
Size96.92 KB

The Giraffidae family includes only two living species of ungulates: the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) and the okapi (Okapia johnstoni), both restricted to the African continent. Taxonomically, the Giraffa and Okapia genera separated from each other approximately 16 million years ago (Hassanin et al., 2012), and they now exhibit as many differences as similarities. Today Okapia is represented by one species (Okapia johnstoni; Hart, 2013), though with surprisingly high genetic variation (Stanton et al., 2014), whereas nine subspecies of giraffe are currently recognized (although ongoing research is underway): Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis, G. c. antiquorum, G. c. camelopardalis, G. c. giraffa, G. c. peralta, G. c. reticulata, G. c. rothschildi, G. c. thornicrofti and G. c. tippelskirchi; (Giraffe Conservation Foundation, 2013; Bock et al., 2014).

Key Words: Megafauna, Giraffidae, giraffe, okapi, evolution, distribution, conservation, population decline

Authors: Noelle F. Kumpel, Sophie Grange and Julian Fennessy

Journal: African Journal of Ecology

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