Monitoring the Behavioral and Adrenal Activity of Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) to Assess Welfare During Seasonal Housing Changes

In inclement weather, northern zoos are required to provide animals from warmer climates with indoor exhibits. These indoor exhibits are typically smaller, lack natural substrate, and have lower levels of stimulation for the animals. The purpose of this study was to examine the welfare of four reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) exhibited at the Chicago […]

Correlates of home range sizes of giraffes, Giraffa camelopardalis

Abiotic, biotic and human influences are factors that can affect animal home ranges. We calculated home range sizes of adult giraffes in the Tarangire-Manyara region of northern Tanzania (N = 132 giraffes with data collected over 6 years), and investigated correlations between home range sizes and environmental and anthropogenic factors (for a subset of N = 71 […]

A survey assessment of variables related to stereotypy in captive giraffe and okapi.

Stereotypic behavior has been investigated in a wide variety of animals, but little published information is available on this problem in captive exotic ungulates. A survey was used to gather information on the prevalence of stereotypic behavior in giraffe and okapi and to identify variables associated with these behaviors. Of the 71 institutions that received […]

Sociosexual behavior, male mating tactics, and the reproductive cycle of giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis

Female distribution exerts a major impact on male mating tactics. Giraffe cows have a reproductive cycle, and a social system, that should favor a male roaming reproductive tactic. We conducted a 2-year study of female Rothschild’s giraffe (G. c. rothschildi) reproductive endocrinology in order to characterize attributes of the reproductive cycle and investigate how female […]

Extensive population genetic structure in the giraffe

Background: A central question in the evolutionary diversification of large, widespread, mobile mammals is how substantial differentiation can arise, particularly in the absence of topographic or habitat barriers to dispersal. All extant giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are currently considered to represent a single species classified into multiple subspecies. However, geographic variation in traits such as pelage […]

Social influences on vigilance behaviour in giraffes, Giraffa camelopardalis

Vigilance in ungulates is considered to have a predominantly antipredator function, with the frequency and duration of scans per individual decreasing with increasing group size. Social influences on vigilance scans have been overlooked in studies on ungulates, although studies in primates and birds show that conspecific scans are important determinants of vigilance behaviour. We investigated […]

Using a Timed Feeder to Increase Activity and Exhibit Usage in Captive Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)

The use of enrichment to simulate a natural environment has become increasingly important in the management of captive animals, especially in large exotic ungulates. Indicators of positive welfare in giraffes are behaviors that mimic those displayed in the wild. This study uses a randomly timed feeder in an exhibit for a herd of seven captive […]

Giraffa camelopardalis

species monograph

Fecal steroid analysis of female giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) reproductive condition and the impact of endocrine status on daily time budgets

Gestation and lactation can impose substantial energetic costs on female mammals. We developed a non-invasive means to determine reproductive condition in female giraffe using fecal steroid analysis. Giraffe may be especially challenged during their reproductive cycle because of two characteristics: they are impregnated while lactating and they do not breed seasonally. We studied the social […]

Home range and seasonal movements of Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis in the northern Namib Desert

Estimates of home range size of giraffe in the northern Namib Desert were on average larger than those in other populations. In particular, the largest individual home range of any giraffe bull (1950 km2) was recorded – correlated with low population density, reduced forage density and increased searching for receptive cows. The predominant pattern of […]