After much consideration and research, the US Fish and Wildlife Service have decided to put giraffes under the list of Endangered Species.
The decision was made after the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared them “vulnerable” due to the steadily decreasing population.
Giraffes are normally found all over Africa and were previously deemed safe. But now, they are on the verge of extinction.
Giraffe’s population has suffered a massive 36-40 percent decline since 1985. There were just over 97,000 giraffes remained in the wild back in 2016.
Among nine subspecies of giraffes, Kordofan and Nubian giraffes are just one stage away from extinct in the wild. There are fewer than 4650 of these subspecies left.
Thornicroft’s, Reticulated, and West African giraffes also fall under endangered or vulnerable species.
Masai giraffes are yet to be on the list, but due to their decreasing population, it’s not far away.
Only one subspecies, i.e. the Angolan giraffe is out of danger. And thanks to an intensive conversation work, the status of Rothschild giraffes are improving.
The significant reason as to why the population of giraffes is decreasing is because of the legal and illegal hunting of the animal.
Another reason is the loss of habitat due to human encroachment.
The land that is habitable for the world’s tallest land animal is taken away over mining, construction, or agriculture.
There are also illegal hunting and poaching of the giraffes.
Apart from that, villagers kill giraffes to eat their meat and also just for their tails.
This is because the tail is a status of a symbol in some cultures and is used as a dowry.
The biggest threat, however, is the US trade. There are absolutely no restrictions in the US when it comes to giraffe trade.
From 2006 to 2015, 39,516 giraffe specimens were imported to the US in different forms.
It includes 3008 skin pieces, 21,402 bone carvings, and 3,744 hunting trophies.
Thus, as giraffes enter the Endangered Species Act, the importing and exporting of giraffes dead or alive becomes restricted.
This helps in the much-needed protection and conservation of all the subspecies of giraffes that are on the verge of extinction.