Rothschild giraffe


Rothschild giraffe

Taxobox
name = Rothschild Giraffe



status = CR
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Artiodactyla
familia = Giraffidae
genus = "Giraffa"
range_


range_map_caption=Range map
species = "G. camelopardalis"
subspecies = "G. c. rothschildi"
trinomial = "Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi"

The Rothschild Giraffe, named after Tring Zoological Museum's founder, Lord Walter RothschildCite web
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,3604,1589085,00.html
title = Obituary - Betty Leslie-Melville
publisher = The Guardian
date = 2005-10-11
accessdate =2007-04-19
] , also known as the Baringo Giraffe, after the Lake Baringo area of Kenya [Cite web
url = http://www.ilec.or.jp/eg/lbmi/reports/03_Lake_Baringo_27February2006.pdf
title = Lake Baringo
author = Eric O. Odada
accessdate = 2007-04-19
] , or as the Ugandan Giraffe, is the second most endangered giraffe subspecies with only a few hundred members.Cite web
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7156146.stm
title = Not one but 'six giraffe species'
publisher = BBC News Online
accessdate = 2007-12-27
] All of those that are living in the wild are in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda. (Recently it has been proposed that the Rothschild Giraffe is actually a separate species from other giraffes and not a giraffe subspecies.)While giraffes in general are classified as , the Rothschild Giraffe is at particular risk of hybridisation, as the population is so limited in numbers. There are very few locations where the Rothschild Giraffe can be seen in the wild, with notable spots being Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya [Cite web
url = http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/1344/
title = Lake Nakuru National Park
publisher = UNESCO
accessdate = 2007-04-19
] and Murchison Falls National Park [Cite web
url = http://visituganda.com/parks.html
title = National Parks & Safaris
publisher = Uganda Tourist Board
accessdate = 2007-05-09
] in Northern Uganda. There are various captive breeding programmes in place - most notably at The Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, and at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, England - which aim to expand the genetic gene-pool in the wild population of the Rothschild Giraffe.

Rothschild Giraffes are easily distinguishable from other subspecies. The most obvious sign is in the colouring of the coat, or pelt. Where the Reticulated Giraffe has very clearly defined dark patches with bright whitish channels between them, the Rothschild Giraffe more closely resembles the Masai Giraffe. However, when compared to the Masai Giraffe, the Rothschild subspecies is paler, the orange-brown patches are less jagged and sharp in shape and the connective channel is of a creamier hue compared to that seen on the Reticulated Giraffe. In addition, the Rothschild Giraffe displays no markings on the lower leg, giving the impression that it is wearing white stockings.

Another distinguishing feature of the Rothschild Giraffe, although harder to spot, is the number of horns on the head. This is the only subspecies to be born with five 'horns'. Two of these are 'true' horns at the top of the head, in common with all giraffes. The third 'horn' can often be seen in the centre of the giraffe's forehead and the other two behind each ear.Cite web
url = http://www.zoo.org.au/education/factsheets/mam-giraffe.pdf
title = ROTHSCHILD GIRAFFE - Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi
publisher = Zoological Parks and Gardens Board of Victoria
accessdate = 2007-04-19
] They are also taller than many other subspecies, measuring up to six metres tall (20 ft).

Rothschild Giraffes mate at any time of the year and have a gestation period of 14 to 16 months, with one calf generally being born. They live in small herds, with males and females (and their calves) living separately, only mixing for mating.

Males are larger than females and their two 'true' horns are usually bald from sparring. They also tend to be darker in colour than the females, although this is not a guaranteed sexing indicator.

References


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