Giraffes placed on extinction watch list

Giraffes placed on extinction watch list

A steep decline in giraffe population over the last three decades prompted scientists to put the animal on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species globally.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), giraffes are now “vulnerable to extinction” because their population has shrunk nearly 40 per cent since 1985. As per available stats, the global giraffe population has declined from roughly 155,000 in 1985 to nearly 97,000 in 2015.

The steep decline in the global population of the iconic animal prompted IUCN to move the animal from the category of “Least Concern” to the “Vulnerable” category.

Duke University conservation biologist Stuart Pimm commented, “There’s a strong tendency to think that familiar species (such as giraffes, chimps, etc.) must be OK because they are familiar and we see them in zoos. This is dangerous.”

At a biodiversity meeting held in Mexico last Wednesday, IUCN increased and lowered the threat levels for 35 species and 7 species, respectively, on its “Red List” of threatened species that are in danger of disappearing. Scientists blamed habitat loss for the problem.

The IUCN report also cautioned that 860 plant and animal species are already extinct, and roughly 13,000 are either endangered or critically endangered.


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