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Sticking your neck out - saving giraffes in a climate changed world (PRICEJU20SCIEC)

Project Description

Giraffes are in trouble! 

Did you know that there are actually FOUR giraffe species?  Or that the giraffe is related to the rare Okapi of the rainforests of central Africa?  Would you like to help conserve these species? Giraffe populations have declined by ~30% since the 1980s with declines in some prime habitats reaching 95%. Currently classified as vulnerable by the IUCN, all subspecies of giraffe were voted to be added to Appendix II of the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2019.

Threats to Giraffes

The main threat to giraffe is habitat loss, and climate change is a looming threat – to giraffes, their habitats, and as a facilitator of land conversion as agriculture shifts to track the changing climate. The four giraffe species live in geographically and climatically distinct areas in Africa. Current models do not adequately capture the potential exposure of this species to climate change, and underestimate the potential vulnerability owing to combinations of climate change and human activities.

You Can Help Save Giraffes!

You will design new, state-of-the-art models on the potential impacts of climate change on Giraffes. You will also look at projections of drought, land use change, human population growth, agriculture, and giraffe habitats, foods, and predators. You will identify areas most resilient to climate change – Giraffe refugia - make recommendations of areas to add to the protected area network. You will identify appropriate areas for translocations that are most resilient to climate change, and areas where restoration of habitat may best benefit Giraffes.  Moreover, you will be working on this project in collaboration with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the World’s leader in giraffe conservation.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here

Type of Programme: PhD
Start Date: October 2020
Mode of Study: Full-time

Entry Requirements:
Acceptable first degree in Biological Sciences, Geography (physical)/GIS, Environmental Sciences, Conservation Science.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a competition for a Faculty of Science funded studentship. Funding is available to UK/EU applicants and comprises home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009 for 3 years. Overseas applicants may apply but they are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (which for 2019-20 are detailed on the University’s fees pages at View Website . Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual increase).

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