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InternationalThe Red List for giraffes

January 1, 2017

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Photographer: Jon Mountjoy Caption / Flickr

Giraffes are popular and beloved wild animals. But they are sadly dying away very quickly.  This year, for the first time, they were added to Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The IUCN keeps track of the different species of animals on earth. When species of animals start to disappear, they are added to the Red List. This Red List is a type of alert system to let the public know which animals are in danger of becoming extinct.

According to the IUCN, in the past 30 years, the numbers of giraffes have been reduced by 36-40%. The giraffe is identified as a “vulnerable” species on the Red List. This means that the giraffe faces “a high risk of endangerment in the wild.” And endangerment often leads to extinction.

Humans seem to be the cause of this conservation problem. Giraffes live mainly in southern and Eastern Africa. In this area, illegal hunting and climate change are causing giraffes to die. Additionally, more farming and mining is reducing the amount of good giraffe habitat.

The World Conservation Congress is moving to help the giraffe. It is asking for better protection for giraffes, especially in parks and refuges. This organization does not want the giraffe to end up like its cousin the okapi. The okapi is an animal that sort of looks like a zebra, donkey, and a giraffe. According to the IUCN, the okapi is endangered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and completely gone in Uganda.


Published January 2017

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