A giraffe’s heart has to generate nearly double the normal blood pressure of other mammals to give the giraffe’s brain adequate blood supply. Its attackers should take note. Giraffes are currently in danger of extinction. Of the nine subspecies of giraffes, Masai and reticulated giraffes are endangered, and Nubian and Kordofan giraffes are critically endangered. Giraffes have the biggest eyes among terrestrial mammals — their peripheral vision extends so wide that they can see behind themselves! Many giraffe populations are already severely fragmented, in addition to being at least 50 percent smaller than reported half a century ago in many regions. Sadly, it’s not just the meat that is in high demand. Check your local zoo and see how they are helping giraffes in the wild. Giraffes may look all the same, but in the wild, there are actually four species of giraffes: Though it has been reported that giraffes have cross-bred in zoos, all of these species and their subspecies live in very geographically distinct areas across the continent of Africa, and very infrequently overlap in the wild. Female giraffes give birth standing up and within 30 minutes, offspring are standing and then running only hours later. Excellent for keeping a lookout for lions. Our goal is to inspire people to change their attitudes and behaviors toward a more sustainable life. By LOUISE DEWAST. There are situations in which trade in giraffe parts might still be permitted, such as for use in research, education, and activities to help propagate the species. Current populations of the four species of giraffes are widely scattered and fragmented, and each population is subject to a variety of threats specific to its region. How Can Endangered Species Be on Both IUCN’s Red List and the New Green List. They have the ability to completely change the habitats around them.. Giraffes are a keystone African herbivore. In an attempt to raise awareness of the conservation of these incredible creatures, many media outlets are reporting that giraffes are becoming endangered in various parts of Africa. A giraffe’s blood pressure is extremely high – twice that found in a healthy human, and its heart beats up to 170 times per minute. Poaching of elephants and rhinoceros and the illegal trade … In 2017, a coalition of conservation groups (including NRDC) petitioned the U.S. Giraffes are a threatened species and many of their populations are endangered and declining.. The proposal would also enable authorities to collect international trade data for giraffes that would justify greater protections by both the members of CITES and other scientific and governmental bodies in the future. We are working hard to improve our content. Trade in giraffe parts is both legal and largely untracked in the United States because the government doesn’t currently recognize the species as endangered. We are a couple of environmentalists who seek inspiration for life in simple values based on our love for nature. Acacia trees and their seeds, a favorite food of giraffes, are not favored by other species so seed germination of this iconic African tree would be stymied without the germination effects of giraffes’ consumption. Let us know if you liked this article. “Giraffes are in serious danger of extinction, and that is why the U.S. While this cottage industry is a boon to many low-income workers, it’s a problem for giraffes, who rely on those trees for sustenance. State Disclosures. “These important steps will vastly increase public consciousness of the plight of giraffes.”. Why are giraffes endangered? © Natural Resources Defense Council 2020 Privacy Policy Giraffes used to range continuously … Giraffes face mounting threats from habitat loss and fragmentation: Growing human populations and urban development — and the accompanying increase in agriculture, mines, and other extractive industries — are destroying giraffes' homes and converting their habitat for human use. Support organizations, like NRDC, that are fighting to save giraffes, as well as on-the-ground organizations like the Giraffe Conservation Fund. Though it was thought that the giraffe has a “huge” heart to accomplish all this pumping and beating, it actually has a relatively small heart. Giraffes occur in countries with the highest fertility rates in the world, so human encroachment is a threat that will only continue to grow. The declining numbers are due largely to poaching, habitat loss, human population growth and degradation of the giraffe's habitat. They’re being considered for ‘endangered’ status. The hooves of an adult giraffe are approximately the size of your dinner plate. While traversing the landscape to feed all day, they are in actuality pruning and distributing seeds across the terrain, helping to keep the habitat managed for other wildlife to use. But until now, no international regulations governed their trade. In actuality, it was his theories that were a bit of a stretch. The agency was required by law to respond within 90 days. Giraffe are highly social animals and live in herds of 15-20 female giraffe and some young males. Giraffes are in serious trouble. Of the threats facing the planet’s tallest mammals, habitat loss is one of the gravest. When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature states that the giraffe population has gone down by over 40% in the past 30 years. You'll receive your first NRDC action alert and update email soon. Thanks for signing up. As he explains in the NatGeo video below, Hamlin was flying over Garamba National Park in June when he spotted three of the park’s critically endangered giraffes in a clearing. Why are giraffes important to the environment? In the face of ever-growing pressure on their livelihoods, some Sudanese have also turned to giraffe bushmeat as a means of survival. (You can’t.). Giraffe babies, or calves, often fall prey to herds of carnivores, but, for the most part, giraffes are safe within their natural ecosystem. As a result, giraffe population has decreased 40% … Also known as the Nigerien giraffe, the West … How can you tell the difference between a captive-bred turtle and a wild-caught one? Giraffes have been declared critically endangered in Kenya. 41. How You Can Help. When CITES confers conservation status on a species, it restricts the international trade in that creature. Giraffes are not classified as an endangered species. In 2016, all four species of giraffe were upgraded by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to “Vulnerable” and two species in particular, the West African giraffe and the Rothschild’s giraffe, are now listed as “Endangered.”. According to IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, there are only over 4,000 Kordofan and Nubian giraffes left in the wild — meaning, the gentle creatures are just a stage away from being extinct. How do female giraffes give birth? Giraffes can still be found in 21 African countries, and in zoos in almost every part of the world. Female giraffes give birth standing up, so infants are born, falling about five feet to the ground. International Union for Conservation of Nature, increased wildlife trafficking and poaching, U.S. hunters imported 3,744 dead giraffes between 2006 and 2015, mulling over a proposal to list the species, Pro-extinction Policies Do Not Sit Well With Americans, Whatever Their Stripe, Facing Down the Ivory Sellers, Pangolin Poachers, and Giraffe Traders, Epic Animals Aren’t Meant for Trafficking, To Save These Rare Giraffes, Uganda Built an Ark (of Sorts). Giraffe populations are dwindling. They were such an iconic part of the African landscape that it was assumed they were in no danger and little focus was paid to research and protection. A rare subspecies is being slaughtered for use as a dowry. Currently the members of the convention are mulling over a proposal to list the species, brought forth by the giraffe range states of the Central African Republic, Chad, Kenya, Mali, Niger, and Senegal. In 2016 it … WHY ARE GIRAFFES ENDANGERED? While heavy machinery keeps spraying #monocrops with #pesticides and #fertilizers, millions of #family #farmers are applying agroecological approaches to redress those impacts and revive #rural areas. Around ten years ago, a belief in the healing power of giraffe bone marrow and brains sprang up, with practitioners touting their ability to protect and cure people of HIV/AIDS. For most endangered species, challenges include habitat loss and poaching. Hunting giraffes is illegal in both Kenya and Tanzania, but they are poached for their hide, meat, bones, and tails. The blood vessels in the giraffe’s lower legs bear a huge weight, and the giraffe has developed a complex pressure regulation system to keep all these factors in check. The Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth - its people, Now the U.S. government must catch up with the scientific consensus. There is a newer hypothesis that addresses these questions and also reminds us that the ability to find a mate is not always reliant on our ability to feed ourselves, but to be attractive to the opposite sex. That law covers any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”. Four out of five of us express support for the Endangered Species Act. Members of Congress have a direct line of communication with decision makers at the U.S. The theory rests on the idea that the ability to not rely on high competition vegetation that was lower to the ground gave the giraffes with longer necks the ability to be be healthy, reproduce, and transmit those long-necked genes to their offspring. Having a long neck may make giraffes seem really cool on the outside, but the physiology underneath, helping it all work, makes it even more exceptional! Calls from their constituents will encourage them to pick up their own phones to help save these majestic animals. At the time, Garamba was home to just 40 Kordofan giraffes ― the only remaining population in the Congo. Yet in nature, there is no other animal that seems to have used this same technique; no other species with an elongated neck. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports. The giraffe, or giraffa camelopardalis, is endangered due to habitat loss, the breaking up of habitat areas, the lack of suitability in existing habitats, poaching and new human population growth. Giraffes are also threatened by the proliferation of disease, including a lesion-inducing skin disease that is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as inbreeding (a result of populations’ inability to intermix due to habitat fragmentation) and the increased frequency and magnitude of droughts associated with climate change. Giraffes used to range continuously through much of the African savanna, but they now live in a handful of communities scattered in clumps across the continent. Thankfully this complex pressure regulation system can manage these wild extremes — and can prevent too much blood flow to the brain when the giraffe has to bend all the way down to drink water. An ESA listing would also shine a much needed spotlight on the plight of giraffes, a development that is less concrete but no less important than specific regulatory measures. Part of the reason why giraffes have suffered from such a drastic decline is simply because no one was really paying attention. Around half of the giraffes in Africa today are Masai giraffes. Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty. Though many governments are enacting new habitat management and protection for giraffes through conservation initiatives and improved law enforcement, community awareness is still struggling to keep up. 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