STATES CHRONICLE – The tallest land animal, the giraffe was declared to be on the verge of extinction. Biologists argued that this species’ population has diminished by approximately 40% in 30 years. Thus, experts listed the animal on the official watch list of endangered and threatened species worldwide, being categorized as vulnerable.
According to statistics revealed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), back in 1985, the number of giraffes was estimated between 151,000 and 163,000. Unfortunately, in 2015, the population of giraffes dropped to 97,562. On December 7th, during a biodiversity meeting in Mexico, the IUCN raised awareness by increasing the level of threat for 35 species while diminishing the threat level of other seven species on the “Red List.”
The “Red List” represents the list of threatened species which were categorized as being on the verge of extinction. The list provides the names of the species which were declared by specialists to be in danger of disappearing. This year, the giraffe represents the only animal which changed its status from one year to another. Noelle Kumpel and Julian Fennessy, members of the specialty group of biologists who enlisted the giraffe on the Red List, argued that everybody is currently worried about elephants.
They have argued that giraffes are experiencing a silent extinction. Fennessy is also the co-director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. She stated that everybody has the wrong judgment when believing that there are plenty of giraffes in the world. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Only recently had biologists done their job accurately, assessing the number of giraffes.
Stuart Primm, the conservation biologist at Duke University, asserted that there is the tendency to believe that well-known species, like chimps or giraffes, must exist in significant numbers because we always see them in zoos. He criticized the IUCN for not listing more species on the endangered species list. Fennessy stated that the primary cause of the decreasing number of giraffes is due to the shrinking living area. What is more, this species was also affected by diseases and poaching.
In eastern and central Africa, people tend to occupy the habitat of giraffes. He argued that the number of giraffes is mainly plunging in eastern and central Africa, being the starting point due to increases registered in southern Africa.
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