Giraffophiles rejoice: San Diego Zoo now offers Giraffe Cam
The San Diego Zoo has live web cams for apes, baboons, condors, elephants, koalas, pandas, penguins, polar bears, and tigers.
To that list, add giraffes.
And it’s not just giraffes. In the words of the zoo, you may also see “rhinos, African crowned cranes, gazelles and other inhabitants that may mosey across the lens.”
With its spacious vistas, the Safari Park showcases the vertically enhanced plant-eaters in a 60-acre setting. It’s the fourth live cam from the Safari Park; the others show tigers, condors and elephants.
To see all the animal cams, mosey on over to j.mp/sdzoocams.
Giraffe Cam has a larger purpose. San Diego Zoo Global, the zoo’s worldwide conservation arm, says the cam could encourage giraffophiles to help giraffes and other wildlife in northern Kenya.
From their computers, citizen scientists can help WildwatchKenya.org monitor motion-activated trail cameras to identify animals that cross their paths. All that’s needed is a computer or smartphone with Internet access.
Citizen scientists are asked to join the 1 Million Photo Challenge,” which seeks 20,000 online volunteers to review and submit to researchers 1 million trail cam photos by this June. This will help giraffologists to learn more about “giraffe hotspots,” areas frequented by the even-toed ungulates. They’ll also look for areas with no signs of giraffes. (Are those “giraffe deserts”?).
Volunteers sign up by visiting WildwatchKenya.org. They’re to identify which animal among a list is present in the photos, or whether none of them are present. Multiple volunteers will view each photo.
Conservationists list giraffes as vulnerable to extinction. While they are widely found throughout Africa, their habitat has been broken up into many smaller areas, each of which is at heightened risk of depopulation. Total giraffe population has fallen from about 155,000 to 97,000 in 2015, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Last year, an international conservation team including San Diego Zoo Global fitted 11 reticulated giraffes in Kenya with solar-powered GPS tracking devices, made by Savannah Tracking. This provides real-time tracking of giraffe mobility. That information could help land management planning, so giraffes are less affected by human activity.
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