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Newsletter highlights research aimed at saving giraffes

A groundbreaking programme designed to help save giraffes threatened with extinction is featured in the latest edition of the Diamond Route newsletter.

Burchell's zebra, photographed in the savannah grassland at Ezemvelo on the Diamond Route. Credit: Erwin Niemand.

This ambitious research project is taking place in De Beers Group’s Rooipoort Nature Reserve in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province on a scale never seen before. Thirty scientists from five countries have come together to find answers to basic questions about giraffe biology – and to more complex ones about conservation programmes and the management of giraffes.

Giraffes are only one of a range of topics covered in the online publication. This issue features fascinating articles on pygmy falcons, white-backed vultures, honeybees and Kalahari white-browed sparrow-weavers plus an introduction to Ursula Witbooi, Environmental Manager for Namdeb, De Beers Group’s partnership venture with the Government of the Republic of Namibia.

The aim of the quarterly newsletter, which is available free via www.diamondroute.com, is to highlight projects taking place mainly on properties on the Diamond Route, a series of seven areas in South Africa and Botswana owned or managed by De Beers Group.

Warwick Mostert, Principal Biodiversity for Anglo American (De Beers Group’s parent), said: “This issue is a must-read for anyone interested in conservation. The giraffe research project, in particular, is an exciting and collaborative initiative that will go a long way to helping preserve this iconic animal. De Beers is privileged to be able to play a part in all aspects of conservation. It is a very clear example of the positive impact of mining and of how diamonds really do good.”

Some of the papers highlighted in this newsletter are from last October’s Oppenheimer De Beers Group conference. This year’s conference, the ninth annual event, is to be held on 16-17 October in Johannesburg. The first call for abstracts is 14 May, with the second call on 9 July.

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