Giraffe Faces A 'Silent Extinction' Study Shows

First Posted: Dec 09, 2016 04:00 AM EST

Most likely day by day, different animal species falls into extinction. Thus, a research has found that there is a drop of giraffes count, and they are classified as vulnerable to extinction.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reported that numbers of giraffes have gone around 155,000 in 1985 down to 97,000 in 2015. With that drop over the past 30 years, it is classified that they are vulnerable to extinction.

Some of the giraffes' populations are growing mainly in the southern parts of the continent. Yet, the reasons why this iconic animal declined in number is because of poaching, habitat loss and civil unrest in different parts of Africa.

In a report by Reuters, Head of the Red List Craig Hilton-Taylor said that, "People are competing for fewer and fewer resources and the animals are worse off. Especially, with civil strife. Drought and climate change are aggravating factors."

However, in the latest global Red List of threatened species, the giraffes are now said to be "vulnerable." It means that the population has decreased by 30 percent over three generations.

Co-chair of the IUCN giraffe specialist group Dr. Julian Fennessy mentioned that the animals are undergoing "silent extinction." It is because as people go on a safari, giraffes are everywhere.

He added that, "While there have been great concern about elephants and rhinos, giraffes have gone under the radar but, unfortunately, their numbers have been plummeting, and this is something that we were a little shocked about, that they have declined by so much in so little time," according to BBC.

As follows, Fennessy added that, "In these war-torn areas in northern Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia in the border area with South Sudan, essentially the giraffes are war fodder, a large animal, extremely curious that can feed a lot of people."

However, the recent study suggested that the giraffe actually has four different species. Yet, for the update of the Redlist, the IUCN used the traditional definition of one species with nine subspecies.

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