The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently placed the giraffe on the “vulnerable” list for extinction. The ranking comes because over three generations, total giraffe numbers have decreased by more than 30 percent.
The giraffe, one of the most easily recognized African animals, is made up of nine subspecies. While the species in southern Africa countries are expanding due to conservation efforts, giraffes in some African countries are declining rapidly. In these areas, the expansion of farming and other forms of development has meant loss of natural habitat. In war-torn countries such as northern Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, the curious animals have become war fodder during the civil unrest.
By bringing attention to the plight of these iconic, lovable animals the IUCN hopes to reverse the population’s downward spiral.