Giraffes Have Been Added To The Endangered Species List
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Pexels
Two subspecies of giraffe have been listed as 'critically endangered' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Numbers for the mammal have declined by 40 per cent over the last 31 years due to humans encroaching their habitat.
In an IUCN report the giraffe has been moved from the list of 'Least Concern' to 'Vulnerable' in their Red List of Threatened Species.
Two specific subspecies, the Kordofan and Nubian, have been added to the list of 'critically endangered'.
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the Kordofan giraffe is mainly found in southern Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and western South Sudan with just 2,000 of the species existing.
Nubian giraffes, mainly found in west central Kenya, South Sudan, western Ethiopia and northern Uganda, and there are 2,645 left.
The reticulated giraffe, a subspecies from the Horn of Africa, has also been listed as "endangered" with numbers being as low as 8,700.
There are nine giraffe subspecies and five of them are declining, two are improving and one group is stable.
Giraffe numbers have been declining for years and the mammal has already disappeared from seven countries: Eritrea, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Malawi, Mauritania and Senegal.
The IUCN's categories go in order of 'vulnerable' then 'endangered' then 'critically endangered'.
If a species numbers drops past 'critically endangered' they will first be declared as 'extinct in the wild' before being completely 'extinct'.
The IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species is "the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species."
Giraffe's declining numbers is partly due to the impact of human development.
Huge parts of the species' habitat are being taken away as humans take over more and more land for agriculture, mining and construction.
Giraffes are also targeted for their meat and tails by poachers which is having a huge impact on their population.
With some subspecies having populations as low as 400, the giraffe is more endangered than any gorilla subspecies.