Maasai Giraffe Research & Conservation Program

Science & Indigenous Knowledge


Like many of Africa’s charismatic species, giraffes are declining rapidly due to climate change, land pressures, displacement and poaching. Sadly, they are now extinct in seven African countries. In Kenya, there are three giraffe subspecies: Maasai, reticulated, and Rothschild’s. The Maasai giraffe, commonly found in Kenya’s southern rangelands, has declined by 52% since the 1970s. In July 2019, the Maasai giraffe was added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Endangered Species list and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) passed strict regulations on the trading of giraffe parts. We are committed to conserving this keystone species.

”The giraffe is in dire trouble across Africa. In Kenya, where elephants are rebounding after the ivory trade closure, the Maasai giraffe poplution has plunged to 27,000 from 73,000 in three decades."

— David Western

MGRCP — Maasai Giraffe Research & Conservation Program

ACC is leading an innovative research program in partnership with Maasai land associations, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and other conservation partners that tracks endangered Maasai giraffes by satellite using solar-powered tracking units placed on the giraffes' ossicones (horns), a process known as collaring. The project is made possible through funding from UNDP-GEF program.

Through collaring, MGRCP is assessing the current status, trends, seasonal movements, habitat utilization, home ranges and conservation prospects for populations of Maasai giraffe in southern Kenya based on long-term ecological monitoring. The collected data is used to map the minimum viable area for the Amboseli and South Rift populations and corridors for connecting Maasai giraffe populations across southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.

MGRCP is also preparing conservation strategies and action plans in support of the National Recovery and Action Plan for Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Kenya (2018 – 2022) and similar plans in Tanzania. This research will provide the first picture of detailed giraffe movement vital for conservation planning and protection, including anti-poaching operations and mitigating the impact of infrastructural developments.

A Hopeful Resurgence & Pioneering Conservation

While Maasai giraffe populations have plunged, Amboseli has seen a hopeful resurgence. There, giraffe numbers have climbed from 2,000 to 6,000 in just fifteen years thanks to tourism which supplements community livestock income and the 350 community rangers who protect wildlife from being slaughtered for bushmeat. Amboseli’s Maasai giraffe population is now the largest in East Africa.

Photo © Tom Hill
Photo © Tom Hill


Our goal is to raise $30,000 by March 2022. This money will be used to hire resource assessors and give our community game guards the vehicle and tracking equipment they need. We welcome any donation amount. African Conservation Centre – US is a 501(c)(3); Your gift is tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law.


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