Wild At Life Project

Saving Giraffes in a Time of Drought

Activity status: Ongoing
Area of Activity: Garissa County, Kenya

Climate change is causing droughts to become more frequent and severe in many regions of the world. As temperatures rise, evaporation increases, leading to drier soils and reduced water availability. Additionally, changes in precipitation patterns are causing some areas to receive less rainfall, exacerbating the problem.

Droughts can have devastating impacts on wildlife and agriculture, causing crop failures, food shortages, and increased food prices. They can also lead to water shortages, which can impact wildlife, human health, hygiene, and sanitation. Climate change is a global issue that requires urgent action to mitigate its effects, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing more sustainable and resilient farming practices.

Species

The reticulated giraffe is officially listed as endangered. IUCN Red List estimates there are about 15,000 reticulated giraffes left in Africa. Of course, all other wildlife and livestock are suffering terribly from droughts.

Situation

Northeast Kenya is facing a severe drought, causing endangered giraffes in the area to suffer, even dying from dehydration and starvation. The situation is beyond sad. We are right in the middle of what should be the rainy season in Kenya, but it is unusually dry. The amount of water available to wildlife has been massively reduced, and the few remaining water sources are being dominated by herders for their livestock, driving away giraffes. The trees have stopped producing leaves, so there is less food for giraffes as well. It is even more difficult on new mums, where their milk has dried up, leaving little to none for their calves. Without their only source of food and nutrients, weak calves are left behind as they struggle to keep up.

Partners

  • Save the Giraffes
  • Somali Giraffe Project
  • Local Conservancies

Working with local partners, Wild at Life e.V. and Save the Giraffes are

  • Providing food – people are gathering acacia seed pods to feed giraffes, and we are also purchasing food pellets
  • Providing water
  • Trying to care for and nurture orphaned calves

Garissa and Wajir are among the biggest counties in Kenya by area size. Most of the giraffes have no access to the river which is just in Garissa. The giraffes are responding well to the acacia pods and we want to scale up this effort and establish hundreds of temporary feeding stations of pellets across the range.

The majority of the herds are young at this time of the year and are very vulnerable to drought. We have seen cases of abandoned calves and we are rescuing as many as possible.

A relief to these beautiful creatures

Wild at Life e.V. is seeking funds to support on-the-ground teams working across the drought-stricken region to supply water and food and to gather seed pods for the hundreds of dehydrated and starving giraffes until the rains come.

 

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