Giraffe GPS: how Kenyan rangers track the animals

STORY: Wildlife veterinarians and rangers at the Maasai Mara National Reserve are fitting 25 giraffes with GPS tracking units.

It's part of an ongoing effort to understand and protect Kenya's dwindling giraffe population,.

First the animals are shot with a tranquiliser dart so the GPS tags can be attached.

The initiative, launched in 2017 by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, aims to monitor the spatial usage of diverse habitats by giraffes across Kenya

It will provide vital data to aid conservation strategies.

Once widespread across 25 African nations, giraffe numbers have seen a drastic decline.

In Kenya, the Reticulated giraffe population has been reduced by 50 to 80% since the mid-1990s.

Veterinarians like Dr. Mukami Ruoro are part of the team seeking to better understand and combat the threats facing the creatures.

And climate change and migration are major concerns.

"Our rainy season is no longer the rainy season, we have longer dry season periods and this has been leading the giraffe to migrate into areas where now people have settled. So this kind of migration and this kind of movement causes human-wildlife conflict because the giraffes happen to come into contact with a lot of humans."

The information provided through the tracking units will allow experts to understand how the animals are using their habitat.

And how to manage the areas they occupy to preserve the species.