Wildlife

Listing Giraffes as Endangered Species

Two giraffe subspecies have been listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species for the first time.

Giraffe numbers plummeted by a staggering 40% in the last three decades, and less than 100,000 remain today. Habitat loss through expanding agriculture, human-wildlife conflict, civil unrest, and poaching for their meat, pelts, and tails, are among the reasons for the decline.

Meanwhile US Federal wildlife officials said Thursday that they would officially consider listing the giraffe as an endangered species, a move long sought by conservationists alarmed by the African mammal’s precipitous decline and a growing domestic market for giraffe products. Designating giraffes as endangered or threatened would place restrictions on their import into the United States and make federal funding available for conservation efforts.

Conservationists also hope that a listing could elevate the giraffes’ plight, which they said was often overshadowed by higher-profile initiatives to protect lions, elephants and other distinctive animals.

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