At the beginning of the 20th century West African (or Nigerian) giraffe were widely distributed from Nigeria to Senegal, but by the late 1990s only 49 individuals remained in the whole of West Africa.
These few survivors are now formally protected by the Niger government and their number has risen to approximately 550 individuals (and counting).
The giraffe inhabit an isolated pocket east of the capital Niamey, sharing their living space with local villagers. No other large wild mammals remain in this region. West African giraffe were classified as Endangered and of high conservation importance on the IUCN Red List in 2008.
The West African giraffe is noticeably light in appearance, which rectangular tan blotches separated by thick, cream-coloured lines, often with no patterning on their lower legs.
And Now the sad History
The Kordofan giraffe’s range includes some of Africa’s more hostile areas: southern Chad, Central African Republic, northern Cameroon, northern Democratic Republic of Congo and western South Sudan. It is estimated that fewer than 2,000 individuals survive in these war-ravaged countries. Most of these populations were formerly assumed to be G. c. peralta, but research has proved this to be incorrect.
The Kordofan giraffe’s spots are pale, large and rectangular. It has no markings below the hocks.