Are Giraffes Endangered Or Threatened Of Becoming Extinct? - When Will Giraffes Become Extinct?

Updated: 05 Aug 2022


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It is the most commonly asked question, "are giraffes endangered?"

Giraffes are not extinct, but they are facing severe problems. There are about 68,000 giraffes left in the wild after a 40% population has dropped over the past 30 years. The surviving herds are dispersed and suffer from several dangers, including habitat degradation and poaching.

Unfortunately, it's been such a steady decrease that it's virtually gone ignored, which is why some people call it "silent extinction."

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), giraffes are vulnerable and have a severe danger of extinction in 2016.

In 2018, two giraffe subspecies were deemed "critically endangered," and two more were considered "endangered" in 2018 and 2019.

For instance, the Kordofan giraffe has only 2,000 wild individuals now after losing 90% of its population since the late 1980s.

The population of Nubian giraffes in Kenya is also down 98%, and they exclusively inhabit protected regions.

The IUCN states that both subspecies are "critically endangered," meaning they have a "very high risk" of going extinct in the wild.

According to Ellie Pepper, deputy director of NRDC's wildlife trade program, giraffes are headed for extinction. Now the U.S. Government must advance the scientific consensus to protect them.

Why are giraffes endangered?

Although the beautiful giraffe is one of the most well-known and iconic creatures on Earth, its vulnerability has long gone unnoticed. Many people were unaware of the giraffes' condition until the species discreetly changed its status from "least concern" to "vulnerable" in 2016.

When seven subspecies were reevaluated in 2018, it was discovered that four of them had declining numbers. As a result, two of the nine subspecies of giraffes are now classified as severely endangered, two as endangered, and two as vulnerable.

Below is the list of threats to the giraffes' population.

Habitat Loss

Giraffes are a threatened species. One of the gravest dangers to the world's tallest animals is habitat loss. Giraffes used to roam freely throughout a large portion of the African savanna, but now they reside in a small number of groups dispersed in clumps across the continent.

In certain nations, such as Mali, the giraffe has vanished. The giraffe population in Niger, where several animals have been killed by vehicles, is so limited and isolated that conservation officials have taken the dramatic measure of moving some animals to a safer area.

Nevertheless, giraffes number is decreasing due to habitat loss. The conversion of woods into farmland is a significant factor in the giraffes' loss of habitat. In addition, the continent of Africa is experiencing a rise in the production of lumpy, black fuel by burning wood from trees.

At the same time, many low-wage employees benefit from this cottage sector. As a result, giraffes, which depend on those trees for food, are negatively impacted. To protect the giraffes, we must take measures against destroying their habitat.

Climate Change

Due to the fragility of African ecosystems, changes in rainfall patterns may result in plant death or an increased risk of drought. In addition, these changes cause the plant's food supplies to deteriorate, people to have less access to water, and giraffes' habitat composition to completely change.

As resources become more limited due to climate change, human interventions (such as the construction of dams) may prevent giraffes from expanding their ranges.

In addition, given that giraffes may naturally schedule their mating seasons to coincide with periods of high food availability, seasonal instability brought on by climate change might potentially impair reproductive and infant survival.


Giraffes are hunted for their flesh, furs, bones, hair, and tails for jewelry and medicinal uses in various parts of Africa. Even though poaching threatens giraffes around the world, the continent of Africa is the only place where they may be found in the wild.

In reality, a 2018 study by Humane Society International found that over 3,500 individual giraffes, or 40,000 giraffe parts, were brought illegally into the United States from Africa between 2006 and 2015.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today agreed to set a deadline of November 2024 for considering whether giraffes need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act in response to a complaint filed by environmental and animal advocacy organizations.

In April 2017, the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, and the Humane Society of the United States submitted a petition demanding giraffe protection.

By mandating export licenses, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species resolved to control the international trade in giraffes in 2019. Conservation measures are essential in nations like the United States, with a booming market for giraffe body parts.

This is a significant step for giraffes, whose numbers are declining due to their skins and bones. This agreement was severely required to enable everyone's favorite long-necked animal to have a chance at receiving federal protection.

However, a lawsuit shouldn't be necessary to implement the Endangered Species Act amid an extinction catastrophe. Instead, we ought to work quickly to protect whatever species we can.

Increased financing for giraffe conservation efforts would result from protection under the Endangered Species Act, which would assist reduce giraffe imports and sales of bones, skins, and other parts in The United States.

Civil Disturbance

Research on the impact of warfare on wildlife shows that civil disturbance is closely correlated with the prevalence and severity of wild considerable herbivore population decreases in Africa's protected regions.

The study also found that, between 1947 and 2010, the war directly affected 71% of giraffes in these protected areas.

In the early 1980s, Sudan was home to some 13,000 giraffes, but today there are just a few hundred left because of poaching and wildlife trafficking brought on by the country's civil conflict.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will giraffes become extinct?

Despite being classified as a species of great concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), scientists claim they are unaware of the true scope of the giraffe's situation when they become extinct.

2. Are giraffes endangered in South Africa?

Yes, South African giraffes are endangered. According to IUCN, giraffes of South Africa are vulnerable and near extinction because of habitat loss, poaching, civil conflicts, and climate change.

3. What Is Northern Giraffe's Extinction Status?

Approximately 2,300 northern giraffes are alive today in these violent nations. However, the IUCN Red List recently listed them as Critically Endangered due to a drop of more than 80% over the past three and a half decades.

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