Science

The Silent Extinction Of Giraffes: Will Earth Soon Lose Its Tallest Land Animal?

By Sai , Dec 09, 2016 01:00 PM EST
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Injured bull elephant treated by Zimbabwe conservationists

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently revealed that giraffes' population has greatly shrunk up to nearly 40 percent in just a span of 30 years. Consequently, the condition has eventually put them on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species worldwide, calling it "vulnerable". The IUCN has further revealed that they have gone two steps up the danger ladder from its previous designation of being a species of least concern.

The Silent Extinction: Giraffes No More?

In one of the IUCN's statement at a biodiversity meeting, CBS News reports that the organization has increased the threat level for 35 species and lowered the threat level for seven species on its "Red List" of threatened species, considered by scientists the official list of what animals and plants are in danger of disappearing. Scientists are allegedly looking at the reason of habitat loss as to why these mammals have quickly emerged on the watch list. It was found that the giraffe is the only mammal whose status changed on the list this year.

According to BuzzNews Feed, scientists believe that the giraffe population's precipitous decline is due mostly to human activity in the form of illegal hunting, habitat loss, expanded agriculture and mining, and civil unrest. Furthermore, they have additionally warned that if current trends aren't reversed, the regal, spindly mammals that can reach up to 20 feet high could be gone from the landscape forever.

Co-director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation Julian Fennessy has claimed that everyone assumes that giraffes are everywhere, when in fact, they're not. Just recently, Fennessy blamed shrinking living space as the main culprit in the declining giraffe population, worsened by poaching and disease.

Meanwhile, there's some good news that aims to prevent the situation from worsening. It was found that in September, the IUCN World Conservation Congress had reportedly passed a resolution calling for governments and other parties to increase conservation efforts, including better equipping authorities to monitor and protect giraffe herds.

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