More animals are on the verge of extinction. Previously, it was believed that only a certain group will cease to exist in the near future. That is not supposedly the case now. Giraffes are a new addition to the list and experts feel it would not be long before we witness the extinction of the world’s tallest animal.
The claim comes at a time when the giraffes’ population has seen a sharp decline over the course of 30 years. In fact, there were 155,000 of them existing in 1985. The figure has fallen down to just 95,000 currently. The findings were compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) who have asked the governments of different countries to take necessary measures.
Reasons for extinction
There have been numerous reasons identified for the possible decline in giraffe’s population. Mainly it is believed that due to severe damage to the animal’s habitat has made it difficult to sustain living. The habitat loss has been attributed to the ongoing civil war in Africa where giraffes were known to exist in large numbers.
The population lived primarily on the borders of the African regions. Including northern part of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
Giraffes are hunted to provide the military with food. Since the meat happens to be in plentiful amount, it can essentially feed a large chunk of the army.
It is important to note that before the findings were actually revealed, protection of giraffes was a matter of “least concern” for the authorities. Not until it was known that numbers have fallen below 100,00, did IUCN step into action.
There has been an ongoing debate whether to categorize the animal as “extinct” or just “vulnerable.” The proponents for extinction argue that since the population of giraffes have declined by more than 30%, it is reasonable to characterize the animal as such. Either way, there is no denying in the damage that is being inflicted on the poor animal.
The situation happens to be severe in the Eastern regions of Africa where the decline has been as high as 95%. In these very particular areas, the red giraffes are being targeted the most.
On a slightly fortunate note, the numbers have remained stable in Southern Africa. Due to the fact, there is no as such war going on, the welfare of the animal is being actively ensured.
What can be done about it?
It is important to be both worried and optimistic about the problem. Firstly, due to the fact that we are putting the lives of a poor animal at severe risk. We have already faced the extinction of Dodo, Quagga and Passenger Pigeon. Now giraffes have become the recent target. We should be optimistic because we are the “ones” who can protect them.
In order to solve the issue, it is pertinent that we acknowledge the problem exists in the first place. At the same, understanding that humans are the reasons for extinction.
Government authorities in the war-torn areas should step in the picture immediately. If the conflict can not be stopped then at least welfare of the animal should be accounted for.