From left to right: Sarah Chinn, Sean Bogle, Derek Lee, Monica Bond, and biologist Robert Mollel working together in Tanzania.
Giraffe are immensely charismatic animals that also indicate the health of African savanna ecosystems, home to the greatest ungulate diversity on Earth. Despite their popularity, giraffe have declined by an estimated 30% in just the last decade due to extensive habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and poaching. As part of a PhD research project in collaboration with Monica Bond and the Wild Nature Institute, Derek Lee and colleagues have created a non-invasive method to mark and recapture these animals using computer-assisted photographic analyses that identify individual spot patterns in giraffe. The project’s ultimate goal is to improve understanding of giraffe population dynamics and quantify habitat quality in order to successfully conserve the species and their savanna habitat. Sean Bogle and Sarah Chinn will be working with Wild Lens and the Wild Nature Institute to film this crucial research project in Tanzania.
Derek's Website: Wild Nature Institute: Masai Giraffe Conservation Project