The Somali Giraffe Project is a trans-boundary community-based project in eastern Kenya focusing on research and recovery of giraffe population in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera counties in Kenya as well as the neighboring areas of the Somali border. They work in communal areas with high concentration of the reticulated giraffes partnering with the local Somali pastoralists through long-term education programs and community outreach to help save the reticulated giraffe. The project focuses on understanding the status of the reticulated giraffe population in the region through research, and conservation interventions that include; robust anti-poaching efforts, de-snaring, disease surveillance, and human-giraffe conflict resolution while supporting local livelihoods. They conduct quarterly surveys in the Northeastern region of Kenya and neighboring Somali border to estimate the density of the reticulated giraffe population through systematic road transect surveys and photographic capture re-capture survey for identifying individual giraffes using their unique coat patterns.
Additionally, they run a collaring program to understand the giraffe resource selection, social interaction, and habitat use where they have collared 30 giraffe individuals in the region. They work with team of 30 rangers who work to ensure the safety of giraffes by conducting daily anti-poaching and de-snaring patrols. They work closely with the local community to ensure they participate in the conservation of giraffes as a majority of the giraffe population in the region occur in community land. They engage the community through seminars, workshops for conflict and school visits where they conduct conservation education among students. Besides the community, they also partner with the Kenya Wildlife Service Vet unit monitor prevalence of diseases prone to livestock, wildlife and also zoonotic diseases through the One-health approach. Further, they provide emergency assistance to wildlife and the local communities and their livestock to rapidly respond to prolonged drought, flooding and disease outbreaks.
Thanks to DierenPark Amersfoort Wildlife Fund the Somali Giraffe Project can buy camera traps to monitor the giraffe population.