2019 African Graduate Student Research Fund Award - Levi Matana

Levi Matana is a master's student at The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (Tanzania) studying the feeding ecology of giraffes in the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem, Tanzania. Giraffes inhabit naturally heterogeneous ecosystems. Currently, African rangelands have been altered strongly due to the spread of woody plants into open savanna landscapes, particularly in eastern Africa, where the grazing pressure of livestock and wildlife is high. Despite a general increase in woody vegetation across the savanna rangeland systems, giraffe numbers have declined in recent decades. Levi is investigating how the spread of woody plants might either benefit  or adversely affect feeding ecology in this iconic African mammal. His results will inform the best rangeland management practices for effective biodiversity conservation.