Giraffes Join The List Of Species Facing Threat Of Extinction
While wildlife conservationists celebrate the upgrade of mountain gorillas from the status of “critically endangered” to “endangered and fin whales from being “endangered” to “Vulnerable”, fear for the extinction of kordofan and Nubian giraffes has been realized. Thanks to the cross-border conservation efforts between Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo which have improved the status of mountain gorillas from being “critically endangered” to “endangered”. According to the 2018 gorilla census, the population of mountain gorillas has increased to 1000 species from 680 species in 2008. For the case of giraffes, there are less than 4,650 giraffes close to being extinct in the wild. The population of giraffes has steadily reduced from 163,000 to 97,000 which indicate that giraffes are now critically endangered species that call for close interference. The critical state of giraffes was confirmed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which added giraffes in the red list of the critically endangered species that are nearing extinction. At present, the whole world shelters less than 4000 kordofan and Nubian giraffes meaning that the future generations may not see these giraffes species if no immediate action is done. Over the year, the status of giraffes has been ignored in terms of research and conservation, which put the lives of these species at risk. Kordafan and Nubian giraffes are presently under pressure in some ranges across East, central and West Africa. Much as West African and Rothschild giraffes have improved from being “endangered” to “vulnerable” IUCN confirm that giraffes especially Kordafan and Nubian species are in great trouble which need quick intervention. There is also a need for strengthened, sustainable and effective conservation action to save these endangered species at the verge of extinction. With combined conservation efforts, the world will not only prevent extinction of endangered species but also recover their populations.
Where do Kordafan and Nubian giraffes live?
For an encounter with Kordafan giraffes, travel to southern Chad, Central African Republic, Northern Cameroon, and Northern eastern Congo and South Sudan. On the other hand, Nubian giraffes live in central Kenya, northern Uganda, western Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan
Threats to Giraffes
The giraffe conservation foundation confirms that the loss of giraffe habitats to expand land for agriculture, settlement and mining by local people has aroused human wildlife conflicts ion most regions where giraffes live. Also, illegal hunting and civil unrests have continued to threaten the lives of giraffes. Also, there is great loss of food especially acacia trees which is the main source of food for the giraffes. Other threats include civil unrest, illegal hunting and ecological changes. The killing of giraffes to serve a high demand for their meat, hides and tails to take good luck bracelets, fly whisks, thread for sewing and stinging beads has greatly contributed to the decline of giraffe population.
What should be done to save Giraffes?
First of all, conservation bodies should limit the number of visitors to see giraffes. Just like in mountain gorillas, a number of travelers to see mountain giraffes should be reduced each day if these endangered species are to be sustained. Tourism bodies in gorilla national parks (Bwindi, Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunga national parks)_ have limited the number of travelers with access to mountain gorillas. Everyday, a gorilla family is limited to 8 people for an hour, which give these endangered species a free time to relax in their natural habitat.
In general, giraffes are the tallest creatures on the planet earth worth visiting. Support the conservation of these endangered species to ensure their sustainability for the future generations.