At least one of the most endangered subspecies of giraffes has recently accomplished a surprisingly successful population increase. This is the giraffe subspecies inhabiting West Africa, with a natural range that includes the countries of Niger and Chad. In 1996 only 50 Western giraffes were left in the wild, all of them confined to Niger, but today more than 200 exist. The reasons for the population increase are complex, but seem to be largely due to successfully enforced bans on killing giraffes enacted by the Niger government. Many challenges still exist for giraffes in Niger and other parts of Africa – but the recovery of the West African subspecies is a hopeful sign that conservation measures can be effective in preserving these incredible animals.
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