In the last three decades, the number of giraffes has plummeted about 40%, which has maybe gone unnoticed by the general public, until just recently.
This is why their rapid decline is often depicted as "the Silent Extinction." However, together we can change this and give them a voice to call for help when there's still time.
The IUCN has already categorized giraffes to the "vulnerable" category, and that means that they are already a threatened species and vulnerable to extinction in the near future.
Can you even imagine that today there are less than 100,000 giraffes left on the whole African continent? Yes, it feels unbelievable to us, too. But it is the sad truth.
The 21st of June was the international World Giraffe Day, and it is celebrated every year on the same date. But we believe that every day can be a day when you can think about the endangered wildlife and try to help. Every action counts – no matter how small.
The Rapid Decline of The Giraffe Population in the World
The rapid decline is mainly due to the illegal wildlife trafficking and the ever-demanding Far Eastern markets, who still believe in the nonsense that some wild animals' body parts would have some magical effects into health, prosperity, or wealth of human beings.
Changing these old, false beliefs and contributing to the conservation efforts of the giraffe are the key to the survival of this magnificent animal in the long-term scenario.
There are also other threats for the giraffe: the risk of habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation coupled with human population growth and illegal hunting (poaching) together are to blame. These all are issues which need to be tackled.
Four Nubian Giraffes in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda
The Conservation Efforts of the Giraffe
So far there has been limited conservation effort and research on giraffes across Africa. However, to aid the conservation efforts, the GCF (Giraffe Conservation Foundation) has compiled historical and current data on giraffe numbers, distribution and threats from across their range in the African continent. This work is being done in collaboration with African governments, NGOs, universities, IUCN, and independent researchers.
Hopefully, this data will help considerably in the future in the conservation of the different giraffe species and subspecies.
Doing field research with giraffes is notably tricky, too. They are challenging to work with and for example, a giraffe temporarily stunned with a sleeping dart will very soon start to try to stand up.
Moreover, because of their long neck, their blood flow to their head and brains will easily cease due which they may also easily die when under treatment. So, for example, the collaring of the giraffe for the data collecting purposes is a challenging task and requires perfect teamwork of a highly professional veterinary team.
The Giraffe Species
There are four giraffe species and five subspecies recognized today. Here are all the species and subspecies in numbers:
Southern giraffe Giraffa giraffe 52,050
Angolan giraffe G. g. angolensis 13,050
South African giraffe G. g. giraffe 39,000
Northern giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis 5,195
Nubian giraffe G. c. camelopardalis 2,645
Kordofan giraffe G. c. antiquorum 2,000
West African giraffe G. c. peralta 550
Reticulated giraffe Giraffa reticulata 8,700
Masai giraffe Giraffa tippelskirchi 32,500
A Masai Giraffe in Masai Mara National Park in Kenya
How Can You Help to Save the Giraffe?
First of all, you can try to spread the awareness of this silent extinction of the giraffe by sharing supporting giraffe updates across your social media.
The more people know about the plight of the giraffe, the more people may want to contribute to their conservation. Just as we would like the next generations to see elephants and rhinos in the wild, we will want them to see giraffes, too, wouldn't we?!
Another thing you can do is consider donating to a reputable conservation organization which helps to save the giraffes.
One of these organizations is Giraffe Action Fund (GFA). They are a great, new initiative of the Giraffe Conservation Fund, and they have many exciting projects going on, especially in Uganda – for example in the Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and in the Lake Mburo National Park.
There are other organizations, too, and we are also planning to donate to the conservation of the giraffes the 10% of some quarter's profit. Which organization would you like us to donate? Tell us in the comments!
Let's save the giraffes, too – together!