Giraffes Are Now Endangered Animals Facing Extinction, Thanks To Humans

Giraffes Are Now Endangered Animals Facing Extinction, Thanks To Humans

As long as illegal poaching and destruction of their natural habitat continues, the population of animals will rapidly decline.

Source: Getty Images/ Manoj Shah

Several animals are slowly making their way into the list of endangered species and some of them are quite close to extinction as well. While there are wildlife organizations from all over the world trying everything they can to save these species, continual illegal poaching and destruction of their natural habitat are the main reasons behind the rapid decline in the population of animals like elephants, tigers, and orangutans, to name a few. Recently, two subspecies of giraffes joined the list of critically endangered animals in the world. The Kordofan and Nubian species fall under this list with populations diminishing in wild areas of Eritrea, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Malawi, Mauritania, and Senegal.



This is, in all probability, the first time in history that giraffes have entered the critically endangered list. The numbers of the long-necked animals have gone down by around 40% in just the last three decades, according to The Irish Post, and mostly this has to do with us humans meddling with their habitats. A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) states that the giraffe has been moved from the list of "Least Concern" to "Vulnerable" in its Red List of Threatened Species. In Africa alone, there are a total of nine subspecies of giraffes. The other seven subspecies that are not in the endangered list have been growing at a slow but steady rate. However, they are being poached illegally as well. 



Other reasons for the decline in the number of giraffes are agriculture, mining, and construction across all of Africa. Dr. Julian Fennessy, the co-chair of the IUCN Special Survival Commission, said, "Whilst giraffes are commonly seen on safari, in the media, and in zoos, people, including conservationists, are unaware that these majestic animals are undergoing a silent extinction. While giraffe populations in southern Africa are doing just fine, the world’s tallest animal is under severe pressure in some of its core ranges across East, Central and West Africa."



Dr. Fennessy continued, "It may come as a shock that three of the currently recognized nine subspecies are now considered 'Critically Endangered' or 'Endangered', but we have been sounding the alarm for a few years now." Findings by the Rothschild’s Giraffe Project in 2010 revealed that "freshly severed heads and giraffe bones" can get poachers up to $140 each. Over the years, the species has become harder to find as its numbers have decreased so much but poaching has not been reduced at all. In fact, the price has gone up, resulting in increased levels of poaching. The rate at which things are going, our next generation might not get to see several of the species that exist today, not even in zoos. 



According to the Smithsonian magazine, "The giraffes face two main threats, encroachment from cities and towns into their habitat and poaching. Poaching has become increasingly problematic. Some food insecure villagers kill the animals for their meat, but Jani Actman at National Geographic reports many giraffes are slaughtered just for their tails, which are considered a status symbol and have been used as a dowry when asking a bride’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage in some cultures.” In cases like these, education can play a big role in stopping poaching. Dr. Fennessy adds, “The biggest problem for giraffes, though, maybe the lack of attention over the years. “I am absolutely amazed that no one has a clue. This silent extinction. Some populations less than 400. That is more endangered than any gorilla, or almost any large mammal in the world.”


Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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