Two Wellington Zoo staff are flying to Africa next month to help with hands-on conservation work putting trackers on wild giraffes.

Team leader of herbivores Bobby Stoop and zoo vet Emily Kay are using "conservation leave" provided by the zoo to do their part for the globally threatened species with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

"Traditionally they've been seen as quite a common species," Stoop said.

"The reality is they're facing a decline at a very alarming rate. In the last 30 years we've seen an almost 40 per cent decline in total giraffe population."

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Kay said giraffes were suffering a