The wild giraffe population has been recognised as ‘threatened with extinction’ by the IUCN Red List. The Red List has increased the status of the giraffe from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” due to a 36-40% decline in the species since 1985.
The ICUN attributes this decline to the growing human population, illegal hunting, habitat loss and change due to agricultural expansion and mining, growing human/wildlife conflict, and civil unrest in the countries to which they are native.
Julian Fennessy, co-chair of the IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group, says “Whilst giraffe 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. With a decline of almost 40% in the last three decades alone, the world’s tallest animal is under severe pressure in some of its core ranges across East, Central and West Africa. As one of the world’s most iconic animals, it is timely that we stick our neck out for the giraffe before it is too late.”
Earlier this year, the IUCN World Conservation Congress adopted a resolution which called for action to be taken to reverse the decline.
Visit the IUCN Red List website to find out more: http://www.iucnredlist.org/.