Published on Dec 9, 2016
GLAND, SWITZERLAND — The world’s tallest creature is slowly veering closer to being wiped out. The The International Union for Conservation of Nature has updated its Red List of Threatened Species, and among a number of birds and crops, the majestic giraffe now finds itself in serious trouble.
With its population declining by roughly 40 percent over the past three decades, the giraffe has since been raised two categories from Least Concern to Vulnerable. The reason for the giraffe’s demise is correlated with the growth of human populations. Illegal hunting has also escalated – poachers use traps and rifles to kill giraffes for their meat, and some hunters still target them as trophies. With Habitat loss also contributing to their decreasing numbers in the wild, two decades from now giraffes may only reside in zoos.
The African grey parrot has also been raised on the list due to concern over its declining population. Fondly nicknamed the Einstein parrot for its high level of intelligence and mimicking abilities, has been badly drastically reduced by habitat loss, and the exotic pet trade. With roughly 3.2 million captured between 1975 and 2013, one of the planet’s brightest birds is now listed as Endangered, formerly listed as Vulnerable.
It’s estimated that less than 98,000 giraffes are left in the wild. With the Red List having grown to nearly 25,000 different species, the time we have left to reverse the damage we’ve done to other forms of life on Earth may not be enough.