One of the world’s most unique and recognizable animals may be headed for extinction. In 1985, there were about 155,000 giraffes worldwide. Today, there are only about 97,000 left. The stark decline in the number of wild giraffes is credited to habitat loss, poaching and civil unrest in the parts of Africa where the most giraffes reside.
Up until recently, the decline in the number of giraffes was considered of “least concern” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Now, however, the threatened species is considered to be “vulnerable.”
If you ask the average animal enthusiast, they will surely tell you that the number of rhinos and elephants are drastically declining. They probably won’t mention giraffes, The IUCN has referred to this process as a “silent extinction.”
Despite the disparaging news, the giraffe population is thriving in certain parts of South Africa. In order to keep the majestic creature on the map, activists and other wildlife connoisseurs will need to take the necessary steps to preserving its livelihood. First and foremost, awareness must be spread.