Two sub-species of a beautiful animal slipped into the list of 'critically endangered' animals recently. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), giraffes have officially been declared an endangered animal. The Kordofan giraffe and the Nubian giraffe, found most commonly in Cameroon and Kenya respectively are now under the category of animals facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
In 2016, the subspecies had been listed as 'vulnerable'. These sub-species of giraffes are generally found in Eritrea, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Malawi, Mauritania, and Senegal. In May last year, there were reports that giraffes could slip into the list of endangered species if immediate steps are not taken. US Female Hunter Trophy Kill ‘Rare’ Black Giraffe and Sharing Pictures of Her ‘Dream Hunt’ Sparks Outrage on Social Media.
While conservationists had filed petitions to the US government, to help against the prevention of their extinction, the animals now stand endangered. The US is known for being the largest importer of trophy hunters. Conservationists are of the view that a ban on trophy hunting could have increased the number of giraffes in the wild. IUCN had then said that today only 97,500 giraffes exist in sub-Saharan Africa, which is a drop of almost 40 percent since 1985. In Africa, there are fewer giraffes than elephants. Giraffe Parts on Sale! 40,000 Products Approximately Worth 4,000 Giraffe Deaths Have Been Imported Legally in US.
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."
He added saying, "It may come as a shock that three of the currently recognised nine subspecies are now considered 'Critically Endangered' or 'Endangered', but we have been sounding the alarm for a few years now." 60 Percent of Earth's Wildlife Has Been Lost, We Are the 'Last Generation' That Can Save Nature, Says WWF.
As per the IUCN analysis of import data, over the last decade, America imported 21,402 bone carvings, 3,008 skin pieces and 3,744 miscellaneous hunting trophies from giraffes. At least 3,700 giraffes have allegedly been killed for these items. Although major reasons for their population decline is illegal hunting and loss of habitat, collisions with vehicles and power lines have also lead to their deaths.