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Welcome to the official website of the IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group (GOSG)

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group (GOSG) is one of over 120 IUCN SSC Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities and Task Forces working towards achieving the SSC’s vision of “a world that values and conserves present levels of biodiversity”. Made up of experts from around the world, our group leads efforts to study giraffe, okapi and the threats they face, as well as leading and supporting conservation actions designed to ensure the survival of the two species into the future. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) are institutional co-hosts of the GOSG for giraffe and okapi respectively.


Our website provides news and information about giraffe and okapi, current and future conservation and research projects and the activities of the GOSG. We also host a library of resources including relevant scientific literature.


The IUCN SSC GOSG was established in March 2013 in recognition of widespread threats to giraffe and okapi, and to address the lack of understanding of the species and their conservation needs. The GOSG is comprised of a group of technical experts from around the world ranging from field biologists and zoologists to veterinarians, geneticists and social scientists with interest and expertise in the conservation of the two giraffid species.


As well as being a scientific advisory body to the IUCN, the GOSG aims to increase understanding of giraffe and okapi, the threats they face, and how such threats can be mitigated in order to facilitate their long term conservation. The group also aims to catalyse research into giraffe and okapi conservation.


The giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis is an even-toed ungulate and the tallest animal and largest ruminant in the world…


The okapi Okapia johnstoni is endemic to the central and north-eastern tropical rainforest of The Democratic Republic of Congo…

Group Members

The GOSG is composed of Co-Chairs for giraffe and okapi, an Executive Board, an IUCN Red List Authority and Members.



  • Okapi co-chair: Noëlle Kümpel

    (BirdLife International)

  • Giraffe co-chair: Julian Fennessy

    (Giraffe Conservation Foundation)


Executive Board


  • John Hart

    (Lukuru Foundation)

  • Sander Hofman

    (Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp)

  • John Lukas

    (Okapi Conservation Project)

  • Steve Shurter

    (White Oak Conservation)

  • Zoe Muller

    (University of Bristol / Giraffe Research & Conservation Trust)


IUCN Red List Authority


  • David Mallon

    (IUCN SSC Red List Committee / Manchester Metropolitan University)

List of our members

Latest News

The Giraffe is listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List…


18 October is
World Okapi Day!


21 June is
World Giraffe Day!


The 2015-2025 IUCN/ICCN Okapi Conservation Strategy and Status Review is now available!

Download the Report