POLL: Should the giraffe be listed as an endangered species?

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Despite their stature as the tallest land animal on earth, and status as one of the most iconic and beloved species in the world, giraffes have been quietly disappearing from the landscape at an alarming rate.

Now, however, there’s hope the U.S. will act to ensure their survival by protecting them as an endangered species.

Since the mid-1980s, the population of giraffes has declined by a startling 40 percent, leaving only an estimated 97,560 individuals in the wild. There are now fewer giraffes left in existence than elephants.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

In December, concerns about the threat of extinction prompted the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to change their status from a species of Least Concern – skipping right over Near Threatened – to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Unfortunately, they continue to face mounting pressure from a growing human population, human-wildlife conflicts, disease, habitat loss and fragmentation, predators, civil unrest, drought, climate change, being killed for their meat and parts and trophy hunting.

This week, animal advocacy and conservation organizations joined forces to ensure that the U.S. isn’t complicit in their continuing decline.

The Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International (HSI), The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) formally petitioned the Secretary of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to protect giraffes as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

According to the organizations, an analysis of trade data has found that the U.S. is playing a major role in their decline, having imported more than 21,400 bone carving, 3,000 skin pieces and 3,700 hunting trophies over just the past decade alone.

“Previously, the public was largely unaware that trophy hunters were targeting these majestic animals for trophies and selfies. In the past few years, several gruesome images of trophy hunters next to slain giraffe bodies have caused outrage, bringing this senseless killing to light,” said Masha Kalinina, international trade policy specialist with the wildlife department of HSI.


“Currently, no U.S. or international law protects giraffes against overexploitation for trade. It is clearly time to change this. As the largest importer of trophies in the world, the role of the United States in the decline of this species is undeniable, and we must do our part to protect these animals,” added Kalinina.

Protection as an endangered species will ban most imports of trophies and parts coming into the U.S., and regulate domestic trade, in addition to helping raise much-needed awareness about their plight. It would also generate funding for more research and in-situ conservation efforts to protect them in the wild. While recent genetic testing has found there are actually four distinct species of giraffe, the petitioners seek to protect them all equally.

“I can’t – and won’t – imagine Africa’s landscape without giraffes,” said Elly Pepper, deputy director of NRDC’s wildlife trade initiative. “Losing one of the continent’s iconic species would be an absolute travesty. Giving giraffes Endangered Species Act protections would be a giant step in the fight to save them from extinction.”

The FWS now has 90 days to determine whether the petition to protect giraffes as endangered is warranted. Sign Care2′s petition asking them to grant giraffes endangered species status.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 20 Apr 2017.


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Should the giraffe be listed as an endangered species?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop wildlife crime. By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.

 

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Supertrooper

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Adel Beyram

YES

Anette Stauske
Anette Stauske

We are all in this together! Country borders/nations are purely fictitious. We have only this one biosphere, which we must protect and nurture! Nowadays, almost all animal species must be considered endangered to a certain extent.
First of all we need to tackle the human overpopulation of planet earth.
Secondly, the environment and the habitats of the various animal species must be protected against access by people.
Furthermore, financial and human resources must be provided to enforce the already existing protective laws.

Adel Beyram

Yes

Darrel Bowen

Yes

Tara Wikramanayake

These hunters and “sportsmen” are sick and cruel.

Janet E. Perry Hough

Yes

Phyllis Crawford

YES

Karen Crawford

Giraffes should definitely be listed as an endangered species.

DeborahMae Broad

YES! IDIOTS ARE KILLING THEM AS “trophies” this must stop

Susan Spenard-Decker

Yes!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

as long as there are humans on earth, ALL animals(including the human animal) are endangered.

Leigh Lofgren

I will never understand how anyone can kill an animal just for “sport” or whatever word they give to it. It is killing and it must all be stopped. As for that horrific shot above with a woman lying alongside a dead giraffe, it makes me sick and that woman needs serious help in a mental institution. Shame on her and all the others like her.

Karen Crawford

Well stated, Leigh Lofgren. Anyone who kills an animal for ” sport ” is seriously deranged. The woman who is smiling and lying next to the dead giraffe she has killed is sick in the head .

Sandie Colpetzer

yes

Andrei Hanches

No one taught recently,that giraffes might be so close to extinction.But their populations are shrinking rapidly.Over 30% are now gone! Thanks to the latest DNA analysis,we know that there are several different species,spread across Africa.Because they roam areas of conflict and politic instability they need every drop of protection they can get! So yes they must be added on the list..We must acknowledge the fact that even common species can vanish from the map,no matter how much we do not want to.

Tracy Whitcomb

Yes

NordbergValerie

At the rate we are losing wildlife, I suggest we put ALL animals on the endangered list.

neil edwards
neil edwards

I was just going to put exactly the same comment as yourself!!

Dixie Shelton

Yes