Masai giraffes in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. (© Monica Bond)
Project Giraffe - discovers where giraffes are doing well, where they are not, and why. This conservation research project uses a special computer program that recognizes each giraffe’s unique fur pattern from photographs to monitor demographic rates and social relationships of more than 3,000 giraffes. Monica Bond, PhD candidate in Ecology, studies social networks, herd dynamics, and natal dispersal of giraffes. Results from this research will have important implications for conservation and management of giraffes and other tropical ungulates inhabiting increasingly fragmented ecosystems. Monica Bond’s giraffe research project is quantifying fitness consequences of social relationships, grouping patterns, and natal dispersal using the giraffe as a representative species for ungulate fission-fusion societies.