The West African giraffe is one of the most endangered sub-species. Historically ranging across west and central Africa, after a dramatic decline in the 20th century, numbers of West African giraffes plummeted to approximately 50 individuals in the 1990s and they are now confined to a small south west corner of Niger.

Born Free provides funding to support the vital work of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Niger. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation is the world’s only NGO that focuses exclusively on giraffe conservation and it has played a critical role in ensuring the survival of the vulnerable West African giraffe.


The Giraffe Conservation Foundation is involved in a variety of activities to conserve populations, including a hunting ban and anti-poaching efforts, monitoring numbers, and safely re-introducing giraffes to their original range. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation works alongside the government of Niger and raises public awareness of the need to protect and conserve giraffes.


LOCATION: Niger, West Africa

GOAL: To conserve the West African giraffe and enable the population’s continued survival

ACTIONS: The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) is the only NGO in the world that focuses exclusively on the conservation and management of wild giraffe, and has been instrumental in ensuring the West African giraffe’s continued survival.

With funding from Born Free, GCF provides a variety of giraffe conservation activity, including:

  • Technical and financial support to the government of Niger Conducting annual surveys to estimate population size
  • Creating the online citizen scientist platform; GiraffeSpotter: Wildbook for Giraffe
  • Supporting the provision of equipment for ecotourism guides who monitor and protect giraffes
  • Surveying new habitats and translocating giraffes to historical parts of their range.

The government of Niger has been leading the charge on effective giraffe conservation with the enforcement of a hunting ban leading to a gradual increase in giraffe numbers. More recently, Niger is the first range state to develop a National Giraffe Conservation Strategy to secure the future for this species.

Help us to bring West African giraffes back from the edge, before it’s too late

With the assistance of Born Free, GCF worked with the government of Niger and other partners – such as the Sahara Conservation Fund and the Association for the Valorisation of Ecotourism in Niger – to undertake the 2018 annual survey of the West African giraffe. The total number of individuals observed in Niger was 458 - lower than previously recorded - indicating the importance of monitoring and tracking population sizes.

Born Free also funded the 2019 survey of Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve habitat, wildlife, and livestock and human pressures which was conducted to gauge the feasibility of giraffe re-introduction. In November, GCF undertook the first re-introduction of eight West African giraffes back into their historical range in the Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve, an area from which they had been absent for almost 50 years.


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