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Under the title ‘Sticking your neck out for giraffe – before it is too late!’ GCF Executive Director and co-founder Julian Fennessy will give a talk at Chester Zoo, UK on Tuesday 3 February 2015 at 19:30. The talk is hosted by Fauna & Flora International North West Group and this is your chance to meet Julian and get involved in giraffe conservation in Africa. We hope to see you there.

Image: WikiMedia Commons

Image: WikiMedia Commons

Julian has been studying wild giraffe populations in Africa for over 15 years. When he was appointed the Executive Director of the GCF, Julian became the very first full time giraffe conservation scientist in the world – a point which highlights that despite how iconic the Giraffe is, it is understudied and the importance of its conservation status is under-recognised.

Julian has conducted numerous conservation expeditions across the continent and holds a PhD in Biological Science from the University of Sydney, Australia. Dr. Fennessy is also Conservation Scientist of GCF and Co-Chair, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group. Originally from Australia, he now lives in Windhoek, Namibia in southwestern Africa.

Julian will highlight how GCF is evolving and building a giraffe network across Africa to help stop the demise of giraffe in the wild. Data due to be published in early 2015 shows Africa’s giraffes are on a slow march toward extinction due to the pressures of poaching and habitat loss. Illegal hunting and human population growth have reduced the overall African giraffe population by roughly 40% over the past 15 years.

Unlike the plight of some of Africa’s other iconic wildlife, like the mountain gorilla and the rhino, the giraffe’s decline has happened largely off conservationists’ radar. It’s a silent extinction – in some countries, only a few hundred giraffe remain – so there is an urgent need to act now before it is too late. There are numerous ways for people living outside of Africa to get involved in giraffe conservation efforts. The GCF helped initiate the very first World Giraffe Day this past year – held on June 21st – the longest day of the year for the the world’s tallest animal. Join us to hear more about this beloved yet poorly studied species!

Download the FFI North West Group information flyer here.

This article originally appeared on the GCF website. It has been reprinted with permission.

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