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Bio­di­ver­sity


A Col­lec­tion of News by Moos


201624Dec10:35

Giraffes fac­ing ‘silent extinc­tion’ accord­ing IUCN

Infor­ma­tion
pub­lished 24 Decem­ber 2016 | mod­i­fied 24 Decem­ber 2016
Archived

by Shreya Dasgupta

The giraffe’s IUCN Red Liststa­tus has jumped two places from ‘Least Con­cern’ to ‘Vul­ner­a­ble to extinc­tion’ fol­low­ing 40% decline in their pop­u­la­tion in the last 30 years.

Giraffe num­bers have plum­meted from around 157,000 indi­vid­u­als in 1985 to 97,500 in 2015.
Given their dra­matic decline, the giraffe’s IUCN Red List sta­tus has jumped two places from ‘Least Con­cern’ to ‘Vul­ner­a­ble to extinc­tion’.
Some giraffe sub­species are at greater risk of extinc­tion than others.

Giraffa camelopardalisThe iconic giraffe is rapidly head­ing towards extinc­tion, accord­ing to the Inter­na­tional Union for the Con­ser­va­tion of Nature (IUCN). In the past 30 years, giraffe num­bers have plum­meted by 40 per­cent from around 157,000 indi­vid­u­als in 1985 to 97,500 in 2015, IUCN announced in a state­ment last week. This has brought the charis­matic species a few steps closer to extinc­tion. Given their dra­matic decline, the giraffe’s IUCN Red List sta­tus has jumped two places from ‘Least Con­cern’ to ‘Vul­ner­a­ble to extinction’.

Whilst giraffes are com­monly seen on safari, in the media and in zoos, peo­ple – includ­ing con­ser­va­tion­ists – are unaware that these majes­tic ani­mals are under­go­ing a silent extinc­tion,” Julian Fen­nessy, co-​chair of the IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Spe­cial­ist Group, said in the state­ment. “With a decline of almost 40% in the last three decades alone, the world’s tallest ani­mal is under severe pres­sure in some of its core ranges across East, Cen­tral and West Africa.”

Some recent stud­ies have sug­gested that there may be up to four dis­tinct species of giraffes, which do not mate in the wild. But the IUCN cur­rently rec­og­nizes a sin­gle species of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), split into nine rec­og­nized sub­species based on their coat mark­ings and geo­graph­i­cal dis­tri­b­u­tion. Some giraffe sub­species are at greater risk of extinc­tion than oth­ers, researchers say.

The West African giraffe (Giraffa c. per­alta), for exam­ple, is only found in an iso­lated pop­u­la­tion in the south-​western cor­ner of Niger. In 2008, this sub­species was listed as Endan­gered on the IUCN Red List. Sim­i­larly, the Rothschild’s giraffe (G. c. roth­schildi), found in Uganda and intro­duced to cen­tral and south­west Kenya, is also listed as Endan­gered on the IUCN Red List.

Pop­u­la­tions of four sub­species seem to be increas­ing (G. c. angolen­sis, G. c. giraffa, G. c. per­alta, G. c. roth­schildi), while those of four sub­species are decreas­ing (G. c. antiquo­rum, G. c. camelopardalis, G. c. retic­u­lata, G. c. tip­pel­skirchi), accord­ing to IUCN. One sub­pop­u­la­tion (G. c. thor­ni­crofti) appears to be stable.

Giraffe south africa kruger mongabaySome giraffe species have fewer than 10,000 indi­vid­u­als.
Photo by Rhett Butler.

Geo­graph­i­cally, giraffes in Cen­tral and East­ern Africa are decreas­ing. And the tall mam­mal is thought to have gone extinct in at least seven coun­tries: Burk­ina Faso, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Mau­ri­ta­nia, Nige­ria and Sene­gal. The major cause of their decline, accord­ing to researchers, is ille­gal hunt­ing, habi­tat loss and expan­sion of agri­cul­tural and min­ing areas, increas­ing human-​wildlife con­flict, and civil unrest.

As one of the world’s most iconic ani­mals, it is timely that we stick our neck out for the giraffe before it is too late,” Fen­nessy said.

(Source: Mongabay, 13.12.2016)


UN Biodiversity decade

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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