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Giraffes Have Been Added To The Endangered Species List

Two subspecies of giraffe have been listed as 'critically endangered' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Numbers for the mammal have declined by 40 per cent over the last 31 years due to humans encroaching their habitat.

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In an IUCN report the giraffe has been moved from the list of 'Least Concern' to 'Vulnerable' in their Red List of Threatened Species.

Two specific subspecies, the Kordofan and Nubian, have been added to the list of 'critically endangered'.

Giraffes have been moved from the list of 'Least Concern' to 'Vulnerable'. (Credit: Pexels)
Giraffes have been moved from the list of 'Least Concern' to 'Vulnerable'. (Credit: Pexels)

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the Kordofan giraffe is mainly found in southern Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and western South Sudan with just 2,000 of the species existing.

Nubian giraffes, mainly found in west central Kenya, South Sudan, western Ethiopia and northern Uganda, and there are 2,645 left.

The reticulated giraffe, a subspecies from the Horn of Africa, has also been listed as "endangered" with numbers being as low as 8,700.

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Numbers for the mammal have declined by 40 per cent over the last 31 years.  (Credit: Pexels)
Numbers for the mammal have declined by 40 per cent over the last 31 years. (Credit: Pexels)

There are nine giraffe subspecies and five of them are declining, two are improving and one group is stable.

Giraffe numbers have been declining for years and the mammal has already disappeared from seven countries: Eritrea, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Malawi, Mauritania and Senegal.

The IUCN's categories go in order of 'vulnerable' then 'endangered' then 'critically endangered'.

The mammal has already disappeared from seven countries. (Credit: Pexels)
The mammal has already disappeared from seven countries. (Credit: Pexels)

If a species numbers drops past 'critically endangered' they will first be declared as 'extinct in the wild' before being completely 'extinct'.

The IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species is "the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species."

Giraffe's declining numbers is partly due to the impact of human development.

Giraffes are hunted for their meat and tails. (Credit: Pexels)
Giraffes are hunted for their meat and tails. (Credit: Pexels)

Huge parts of the species' habitat are being taken away as humans take over more and more land for agriculture, mining and construction.

Giraffes are also targeted for their meat and tails by poachers which is having a huge impact on their population.

With some subspecies having populations as low as 400, the giraffe is more endangered than any gorilla subspecies.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: News, Animals

Bethany Gleave

Bethany Gleave is a Freelance Journalist at PRETTY52 and joined the team in 2018. She is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, and started her career at a national press agency, writing breaking and trending news for the national newspapers.

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