Scientists Say the Giraffe Is in Danger of Extinction — Here’s How You Can Help
Science & Tech| | By Robin Milling
The giraffe – the gentle giant with doe-like eyes – is in grave danger of becoming obliterated from our planet, according to biologists who create the world’s extinction watch list. The news was unveiled at a biodiversity meeting in Mexico on December 7, and the news resulted in a devastating reaction on a global scale.
In 1985, there were between 151,000 and 163,000 giraffes, but in 2015 the number was down to 97,562, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Because the giraffe population has shrunk nearly 40 percent in just 30 years, scientists have put it on the “Red List” of threatened species, considered to be the official list of what animals and plants are in danger of disappearing.
The blame for the declining giraffe population ranges from habitat loss to poaching. The co-director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Julian Fennessy, blames shrinking living space as the main culprit, with more people moving into the giraffe’s spacial home in central and eastern Africa.
As one of the co-chairs of the specialty group of biologists that put the giraffe on the IUCN Red List, Fennessy described the situation to The Associated Press as a “silent extinction.” He said, “While everyone worries about elephants, Earth has four times as many pachyderms as giraffes. Everyone assumes giraffes are everywhere. But they’re not.”
The breaking news has caused a social media uproar on the Facebook page dedicated to giraffes. Sone people are sharing stories and venting their frustrations for the mammal’s plight.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is dedicated to a lifetime of protecting and preserving Africa’s wilderness, shared the story from the BBC on their Facebook page. The post received over 2,000 likes – some of them sad and angry ones – with 74 comments and 659 shares.
One user replied with a possible solution, “Can we have a UN for wildlife that every country pays into for enough trained, armed rangers to make a difference against poaching. Helicopters, equipment to help track and monitor animals and poachers. Educational lessons to all. Help with tourism to give money to the community who will in turn protect their wildlife….? Where are those with power who can do something?”
Most of us feel powerless, but one way to help is to make a donation to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, which is dedicated to a sustainable future for all giraffe populations in the world.