The Giraffe - that long slender-neck, graceful and spotted animal of the African savanna that remains a hit of safaris and at every zoo, fortunate enough to have one, is in danger of becoming extinct. Scientists have determined that the population of the tallest terrestrial animal has shrunk by nearly 40 percent in just 30 years, thus the giraffe is in need of protection.
The threat to the world's giraffe population was revealed yesterday at a biodiversity meeting in Mexico, where the International Union of the Conservation of Nature(IUCN) noted that giraffe population, which numbered between 151,000 and 163,000 in 1985, was now down to 97,562, the Associated Press(AP) reported.
As a result, the world's largest ruminant - the giraffe, has been placed on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species worldwide and its status has been classified as "vulnerable".
Co-chairs of the specialty group of biologists who put the giraffe on the IUCN Red List, Julian Fennessy and Noelle Kumpel, described the demise of the giraffe as a "silent extinction", while noting that planet Earth now has four-times as many pachyderms(elephants), as giraffes. In just 30 years, the giraffe moved up two notches on the endangered species ladder from a point of least concern species.
Scientists blame habitat loss for the extinction pressure placed upon the even-toed ungulate mammals. In some places of Africa, conflict is destroying the home of the giraffe and the encroachment of humans is also adding to the demise of the wild beauties.
Therefore, it is high time for greater protection be accorded to these beautiful creatures so as to ensure the continuity of the giraffe as a means to sustaining a full kaleidoscope of Earth's rich biodiversity.