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Predictive tracking technology to assist in the conservation of reticulated giraffe

Dr Ramiro Crego, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Environmental Research Institute is part of an international team of researchers working to predict the potential locations of unknown populations of reticulated giraffes in Africa.

The team have combined tagging technology, satellite data and machine learning to create a model that predicts the potential locations of the giraffes. The model can also identify suitable habitats where giraffes could be moved to for conservation purposes.

Reticulated giraffes are endangered, and declining due to habitat loss caused by deforestation, urbanisation and agricultural expansion. Findings from the model have estimated large areas of suitable habitats in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. The research has also contributed to the translocation of 14 giraffes to Angola, from where the animals were previously driven out due to conflict.

The research was carried out by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and other organisations.

The results of the study have been published in the journal Animal Conservation 

RD Crego, J. Fennessy, MB Brown, G. Connette, J. Stacy-Dawes, S. Masiaine, JA Stabach
First published:24 July 2023