IUCN: Save Giraffes from Extinction!

  • by: Julie S.
  • recipient: Ms. Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), giraffe populations have declined by 36-40% since 1985. Giraffes are now listed as a “vulnerable” species, but are not classified as “endangered.”

Dr. Julian Fennessy, Director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), recently commented, “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.” The GCF attributes the decline of this iconic species to habitat loss, expanding agriculture and mining, illegal hunting, human-wildlife conflict, and civil unrest.

Fortunately, new research could potentially result in increased protections for this gentle giant. Scientists previously believed that all giraffes were members of a common species. However, a recent genetic study indicates that there are actually four different species of giraffes that have not cross-bred for millions of years. Scientists believe that various species of giraffes are as different as Polar bears and brown bears.

Currently, the IUCN only recognizes one species of giraffe. If the IUCN accepted the new scientific understanding that four species of giraffes exist, it is likely that three of them would be classified as threatened or endangered – and would benefit from increased environmental protections. In some parts of East Africa, giraffe populations have fallen up to 95%, suggesting that much greater conservation efforts are needed to save species in these areas from extinction.

Please sign this urgent petition to the IUCN requesting that the organization fully investigate and utilize new scientific information that reveals the existence of four distinct giraffe species to inform conservation efforts. Some giraffe species may require “endangered” status to avoid extinction, and we must act before it is too late.

Dear Ms. Anderson,


I am deeply concerned regarding the rapid decline in giraffe populations that has occurred during the past 30 years.


Dr. Julian Fennessy, Director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), recently commented, “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.”


The GCF attributes the decline of this iconic species to human population growth, habitat loss, expanding agriculture and mining, illegal hunting, human-wildlife conflict, and civil unrest.


Scientists previously believed that all giraffes were members of a common species. However, a recent genetic study indicates that there are actually four different species of giraffes that have not cross-bred for millions of years. Scientists believe that various species of giraffes are as different as Polar bears and brown bears.


Currently, the IUCN only recognizes one species of giraffe. I urge that your organization fully investigate the new scientific understanding that four species of giraffes exist. According to the GCF, it is likely that three of these species should be listed as threatened or endangered – and would benefit from increased conservation efforts.


In some parts of East Africa, giraffe populations have fallen up to 95%, suggesting that much greater conservation efforts are needed to save species in these areas from extinction. Please utilize the new scientific information to protect all species of giraffes before it is too late.


Thank you for your consideration.


[Your comments]


Sincerely,


[Your name]


 

Update #14 years ago
Thank you so much for signing this petition to save giraffes from extinction. Your signatures and comments have been delivered to officials at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. I will let you know of any further developments on this very important issue. Thank you again!
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