IUCN declares giraffes in Kenya endangered species

Posted by Ishani Chetty on 4 December 2018

Two species of giraffe have been declared ‘endangered’ by the International Union for Coservationof Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, namely the Nubian and Kordofan species that reside in Kenya and the Central African Republic.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has ranked both species as ‘critically endangered’. The Kordofan species is found in the Central African Republic, southern Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo, whereas the Nubian species is found in West central Kenya, South Sudan, Northern Uganda and Western Ethiopia.

According to reports issued by Bloomberg, Kenya Wildlife Services has revealed that nearly half of the country’s giraffe population is gone. Kenya Wildlife Services spokesperson, Charles Musyoki told Bloomberg the numbers are declining. “We have lost 40% of our giraffe population over the last 30 years,” he said.

In particular, Musyoki reveals that there are only 659 Rothschild giraffes left in the country. The IUCN has qualified the Rothschild giraffe species as ‘near Threatened’.

The main threats to the species in Kenya are lost of habitation, disease and poaching.

In an effort to tackle these issues and increase species population numbers, the Kenyan Government is launching a program that employed the e use of ‘integrated land-use’, ensuring that there are secured habitats for giraffes to thrive on.

Reports issued by the Nairobi Wire detail the governments plan to restore species numbers in the ‘National Recovery and Action Plan for Giraffes’. The program will run from 2018 – 2022 and will work towards sustainable conservation of the Kenyan Giraffe population.

Director of the the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and Co-chair of the IUCN SSC GOSG, Dr Julian Fennessy explains that not enough attention has been brought to the declining numbers of giraffes outside of Southern Africa in a release issued by GFC.

“Whilst giraffe are commonly seen on safari, in the media, and in zoos, people – including conservationists – are unaware that these majestic animals are undergoing a silent extinction. While giraffe populations in southern Africa are doing just fine, the world’s tallest animal is under severe pressure in some of its core ranges across East, Central and West Africa. It may come as a shock that three of the currently recognised nine subspecies are now considered ‘Critically Endangered’ or ‘Endangered’, but we have been sounding the alarm for a few years now,” Fennessy said.

According to GFC, previously only a mere 4 subspecies of giraffe were analyzed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species but now an additional five sub species have been added to this, revealing the real truth behind the species debilitation in other parts of Africa.

The South African giraffe species is yet to be assessed by the IUCN Red List.

 

 

 

Picture: Unsplash