Kordofan Conservation in Chad

Kordofan Conservation in Chad

Project: Kordofan Giraffe Conservation Programme in Chad

2024 Project Partner: Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF)

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) is the only NGO in the world that concentrates solely on the conservation and management of giraffe in the wild throughout Africa. Find out more about Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF).

Donate or Set up a Fundraising Page to support this project here.

Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF)

GCF is dedicated to securing a future for all giraffe populations in the wild. It envisions a world where all giraffe can live wild and free within their historical ranges or habitats throughout Africa and are protected by the people around them.

Currently GCF is involved in and supports giraffe conservation initiatives in 20 African countries over 400,000 sq.km (100 million acres).

Work spans the whole gamut of giraffe conservation efforts, working with a range of partners to support giraffe conservation. As threats vary greatly between giraffe populations and the countries they live in, there is no blueprint for saving giraffe. Conservation actions and the overall approach have to be adapted to each country, its culture, and the specifics of individual giraffe populations and their habitats.

As a science-based organisation, GCFs conservation approach is always based on the latest available science. However, it is important to note that GCF only engage in research that will directly inform conservation actions.

2024 marks the 15th Anniversary of GCF.  Having supported GCF-led projects in Uganda, Niger and Namibia we are excited to continue our partnership by supporting conservation of Kordofan giraffe in Chad.

You can hear from GCF co-founder and Director of Conservation, Dr Julian Fennessy, at our conservation event at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Thursday 14 November 2024. Tickets will go on sale in September.

Northern giraffe

The Northern giraffe Giraffa camelopardalisis is the most in-peril of the four giraffe species,  with less then 6,000 individuals remaining in the wild in total. The easiest way to identify a Northern giraffe it to look at its legs – there are no markings on the lower legs.

Kordofan giraffe, distinguished by pale and irregular patches,  are one of the three subspecies of the Northern giraffe. They can be found in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

Much of this region is troubled by conflict,  and economic and political instability. In the last 35 years Kordofan giraffe numbers have declined significantly with a population estimate of around 2,300. Kordofan giraffe are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Chad is home to approximately 60% of the world’s wild population of Kordofan giraffe and they almost exclusively exist in Zakouma National Park in the south-east of the country.

Zakouma is the last intact Central African savannah ecosystem, home to giraffe, elephant, big cats, buffalo and many other species.

However, it has not always been a haven for wildlife. Roll the clock back 20 years and the park was blighted by poaching.

In 2010 African Parks took over management of Zakouma in partnership with the Government of Chad. By working with the community and other conservation partners, like GCF,  Zakouma has undergone a steady transformation.  GCF has a long working relationship with African Parks, being their partner of choice when it comes to giraffe conservation across the vast and contrasting landscapes they manage.

The conservation footprint in Chad was doubled in 2017 when African Parks signed an MoU with the government to manage the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem, which includes the Siniaka Minia Wildlife Reserve, to the south, and other critical wildlife corridors. This agreement was renewed in 2022. This is very positive news for the region’s biodiversity,  helping to secure long-term sustainability.

There was more positive news in 2022 when GCF and partners found a previously unknown Kordofan giraffe population of at least 40 individuals in the Koundjourou area in Chad. GCF has since supported aerial surveys to monitor this newly found giraffe population.

Giraffe Conservation Programme 

GCF’s giraffe conservation programme is the first-ever conservation research effort on Kordofan giraffe in Chad. These gentle giants have previously gone entirely under the radar in the country.

We were privileged to see Kordofan giraffe in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019, joining a giraffe monitoring survey,  so we have seen first-hand how conservation partnerships in these challenging areas of the world can positively impact both people and wildlife.

Chad is the fifth largest country in Africa with extensive potential habitat for giraffe but there are also complex challenges to overcome.  We are excited to support this new programme to conserve Kordofan giraffe, and raise the profile of giraffe in the country.

Working with the government and other NGOs, GCFs ambition is to develop the first-ever National Giraffe Conservation Action Plan for Chad, with recommendations likely to include monitoring and conservation of the Koundjourou population, research into transboundary giraffe populations, for example the Yamoussa transboundary area, incorporating the SenaOuara National Park in Chad and the Bouba Ndjidda National Park in Cameroon. Looking long-term, GCF would like to explore the feasibility of translocating Kordofan giraffe to World Heritage Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve in the north-east of the country.

Images courtesy of GCF, with thanks to photographers Michael Viljoen and Jaime Dias, Wings for Conservation

Fundraising throughout 2024 will contribute to the EAE Project Fund which is allocated to our nominated projects at the end of the year.  To find out how you can support please click here.  Thank you.