Seeing Spots: New Study Reveals the Giraffe Babies Inherit Spot Patterns from Their Mothers and Certain Spot Traits Improve Newborn Survival

50-year-old Hypothesis Confirmed with Modern Techniques The beautiful coat patterns of giraffes are individually unique and don’t change with age, but their origins and purpose were a mystery. A new study found wild giraffe spot pattern traits were heritable, passed down from mother to offspring, and certain spot traits improved survival of newborns. Quantifying heritability … Read more

Community Wildlife Management Areas Are Successfully Conserving Wildlife in Tanzania

A group of Masai Giraffes in the Tarangire Ecosystem.

·         A new study found community-based wildlife conservation in Tanzania can quickly result in clear ecological success by benefitting giraffes and other wildlife species. Arusha, TANZANIA, 10 August 2018- Community-based natural resource management is a grassroots conservation tool that has become one of the dominant paradigms of natural resource conservation worldwide. In Tanzania, efforts to … Read more

Community-Based Wildlife Conservation in Tanzania Yields Ecological Success

Dik-diks in Randilen WIldlife Management Area, Tanzania, East Africa. Dik-diks were among the wildlife species that benefitted from the community-based wildlife conservation area.

Good news about the environment is rare these days, but in Tanzania there are signs that local wildlife conservation efforts can effectively protect the natural resources that provide the lion’s share of revenue for the economy. Eco-tourism is Tanzania’s largest economic sector and biggest dollar earner for this developing nation, but wildlife populations have suffered … Read more

New Documentary Gives Smokey Bear A New, Positive Message About Forest Fire

A black-backed woddpecker emerges from his nest cavity in a severely-burned forest patch created by the Sugarloaf Fire of California.

A new video documentary released this week describes the important positive ecological effects of high-severity forest fires. High-severity forest fires, also called stand-replacing or crown fires, create rare and important wildlife habitat, and many species of plants and animals reach their highest abundances only in these blackened ‘snag forests’. Fear of high-severity forest fires is … Read more

The Science of Forest Fire and Spotted Owls

Spotted Owl in a severely burned forest.

Fifteen years of research about severely burned Snag Forests in the western U.S.A. and their important value as wildlife habitat and ecological services has produced a healthy body of scientific literature. These papers, and others, have opened the eyes of many to the now-obvious fact that burned forests create wildlife habitat and even old growth … Read more

It’s Been A Fantastic 18 Months For Giraffe Science

Journal of Mammalogy cover image of Masai giraffe.

We’ve had a fantastic 18 months of giraffe science publishing at the Wild Nature Institute, with 10 papers out in peer-reviewed scientific journals. These papers are all the product of our Masai Giraffe Conservation Demography Project, which is the largest individual-based study of giraffes in the world. We are grateful to the amazing giraffe scientists … Read more