Reticulated giraffe

The most common giraffe in zoos is the second most endangered giraffe species

Steve Garvie

Their uniformed reddish brown colored coats superimposed by narrow, detailed white (off-white) lines forming the reticulate (net-like) pattern make them easy to distinguish.

They occur in the north and east of Kenya, mainly alongside people with pastoralism as the dominant lifestyle and their cattle. They exhibit a fission-fusion social system. Their herd sizes have been getting smaller in the past few years.

Around 30 years ago, the estimated population of Reticulated Giraffe was 36,000, but the current data (2018) shows a significant (56%) decline to 11,048.  The main drivers of declined numbers are bushmeat hunting, habitat loss, and habitat fragmentation.  Awareness, grazing management, and protection are the conservation measures being applied.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Burundi
2022
Djibouti
2022
Eritrea
2022
Ethiopia
2022
Kenya
2022
Rwanda
2022
Somalia
2022
South Sudan
2022
Sudan
2022
Tanzania
2022
Uganda
2022

Recent updates

2022: A group of researchers published a study in the journal “Conservation Science and Practice” that examined the conservation status of reticulated giraffes in Kenya. The study found that the giraffes face significant threats from habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict and recommended increased conservation efforts to protect the species.

June 2022: The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) announced the launch of a new conservation initiative called the “Reticulated Giraffe Conservation Alliance.” The alliance brings together researchers, conservationists, and local communities to work together to protect reticulated giraffes in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Did you know?

  • They are also known as Somali or Netted giraffes.
  • The small population is believed to be in southern Ethiopia and in south-western Somalia, but their numbers are unknown.
  • Their tails are long.
  • They are ruthlessly killed for their skin and tails, which are used for making bracelets, fly swatches, containers, threads, and shoelaces.
  • Oromo used only containers made from Giraffe skin to milk or water their cattle, considering other materials to bring ill luck, including the loss of livestock.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No