It was around 12 years back that Giraffe Skin Disease was first recorded in Ruaha National Park in central Tanzania. The disease has, since then, spread to parts of northern Tanzania, including and national parks. Very little was known about how many giraffes have this disease, and how it affected their survival.
Giraffe Skin Disease is a disorder of the skin characterised by crusty lesions on the backside of the front legs of adult Tanzania. Lesions such as the ones shown in this picture on the forelimbs indicate Giraffe Skin Disease. So, scientists with Wild Nature Institute estimated prevalence (% affected) in national parks and conservation areas throughout northern Tanzania. They also examined incidence (rate of spread among individuals), and mortality (difference in survival between affected and non-affected giraffe) in the ., the only subspecies in
Wild Nature Institute continues to share the knowledge gained from our research with local land managers, wildlife authorities, and community leaders so we can help develop and implement effective disease-mitigation strategies and prioritize the spending of scarce wildlife conservation dollars towards where they are needed most.
documented, This is the most recent step in ongoing investigations into this emerging disease. The later results built on these earlier findings and found Giraffe Skin Disease was most prevalent on low fertility soils (as measured by cation exchange capacity or CEC, a common measurement of soil fertility). If parasites such as nematodes or tsetse flies are involved in Giraffe Skin Disease, differences in soil may influence the ground-dwelling life stages of these organisms. Soil characteristics may also impact the nutritional status of giraffes through vegetation quality, thus affecting their susceptibility to the disease.
Giraffe Skin Disease was most prevalent on low fertility soils.
No mortality effect of Giraffe Skin Disease was found in Tarangire National Park, indicating that currently Giraffe Skin Disease is unlikely to warrant immediate veterinary intervention in this park. Movement of infected giraffe remains an unexplored aspect of Giraffe Skin Disease effects, but limited mobility could lead to lower survival or reproduction if climate, habitat, or predation factors change from current conditions in Tarangire. Monitoring in Tarangire will continue to ensure early detection if Giraffe Skin Disease-afflicted animals begin to show signs of increased mortality or other negative effects.